By Danny Schrafel
Taking the “Ice Water Challenge,” a charitable meme sweeping Facebook for the benefit of the ALS Association – that’s simple enough. Just ask gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino and Ethel Kennedy, a pair of high-profile additions to the cast of thousands who have been doused with buckets of ice water to raise awareness and money.
But Tom Fazio, owner of Waterside Caterers and The Kitchen by Waterside Caterers in Northport, decided to step up the efforts a bit Monday with a new spin – instead of calling out individuals, he’s decided to call out entire businesses.
In the Ice Water Challenge, one person is doused with a bucket of ice water, and the event is recorded on video and posted on Facebook. As they post the video, the person (or, in this case, persons) challenges a number of individuals to do the same. The challenged party has 24 hours to follow suit and call out more contestants, or pay the price by coughing up a donation. The process repeats, with the ultimate hope of it going viral.
So, after being called out by East Northport’s Brian Hickey, Fazio gathered the whole staff up on the grass in front of their store on Fort Salonga Road and made his challenge, with a little twist.
“Because I don't like to conform with normal rules, we at Waterside Caterers have decided to change the rules of the challenge,” Fazio wrote on his Facebook wall. He then proceeded to call out the staff members of Speonk’s Brewology, The Villager pub in Babylon, and Northport establishments The Whale’s Tale, The Wine Cellar on Main and Napper Tandy’s Irish Pub.
The Waterside staff raised $400, split between the ALS Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House charities, and urged them to raise as much – or more – than they did at their respective establishments.
“Let’s take this whole thing and bring it up to the whole level,” he said Monday before taking the icy plunge. “Us as businesses, we are really supporting the community and we can do a lot more together than we can apart.”
Preliminary results show that Fazio’s concept has legs.
A bartender at Napper Tandy’s said Tuesday the staff was preparing to take the challenge Wednesday night, when they were to “call out” their sister locations in Smithtown, Miller Place, Raleigh, N.C. and Breckinridge, Colorado.
Whale’s Tale owner Sosh Andriano confirmed that he, too, is on board, noting that “sooner than later, we will be getting wet.” Fazio added that The Wine Cellar staff will be taking the plunge as well.