Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: Taking on a Specktacular challenge

By From page A2 | August 20, 2014

When one of Davis’ Truly Great People makes a difficult request of you, there are really only two choices. You can jump into Putah Creek, hold your breath and hope no one finds you. Or, you can comply.

Given that the person doing the asking was Cathy Speck, Davis High School Hall of Famer and lifelong Davis resident, I decided to comply.

“OK, here we go,” came Cathy’s email. “Time to put on your safety helmets.”

Oh boy, what is it this time, Cathy? Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and hoping the chute opens before you hit the ground? Swimming from the Golden Gate to Alcatraz and spending the night in Al Capone’s cell? Eating six Holy Rosary tacos at the county fair and then riding the Tilt-a-Whirl?

The problem with saying “no” to Cathy is that she always ties these adventures into raising money for one good cause or another. And just when you think you’ve paid the piper and done your civic duty, Cathy comes up with yet another idea.

Have you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge? I hadn’t until a week or so ago when NBC Nightly News did a piece on it, but now that Cathy Speck has issued a formal challenge to the Above-Pictured Columnist, I have become an expert.

According to the ALS Association, “The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness.”

Call me when it’s 110 in the shade and you can douse me with the icy beverage of your choice. Until then, all bets are off.

“Those who refuse to take the challenge are asked to make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice.”

I believe in Davis that Cathy has convinced the City Council to pass an ordinance declaring that a charitable donation is mandatory for anyone refusing to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Of course, even though you are relieved of the donation mandate if you indeed accept the challenge and allow yourself to be doused from head to toe, in the spirit of the day it’s considered good form to go ahead and make a donation anyway.

Cathy notes that she made a video of her Ice Bucket Challenge recently but is still figuring out how to post it to Facebook. Join the club, my friend.

“And now here’s the Specktacular challenge,” Cathy writes, “after you dump ice water over your head, please make a donation to our team ‘The Specktaculars.’ These donations will funnel into our team’s fund for ‘The Walk to Defeat ALS’ on Saturday, October 4.”

The ALS Association credits former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates with helping to make the Ice Bucket Challenge a national movement.

Thanks, Pete. And please, the next time you get a bright idea, keep it to yourself. Or at least don’t tell Cathy Speck.

Generally, you need two people to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge, one to be doused and the other to do the dousing.

I note that some folks have cheated a bit by using only ice cubes — not ice water — to complete the challenge. And while copious numbers of ice cubes are definitely part of the equation, the formula must include water. Accept no imitations.

Having formally been dared and then double-dared by Cathy Speck, I completed the challenge Monday afternoon in broad daylight. (See photo). Donation to follow.

I am now required to challenge four others to similarly participate.

In no particular order, my four Ice Bucket nominees are Linda Katehi, Lois Wolk, Dan Wolk and David Rosenberg.

Please heed this challenge and respond accordingly. The whole world is counting on you.

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due on Monday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. Entries, between 400 and 800 words, can be emailed to [email protected] and should include a short biography and a mug shot of the author.

Bob Dunning

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