CAPE SABLE ISLAND, N.S. – A challenge on social media by Cape Sable Island fisherman Todd Newell to fellow fishing captains and crew to donate $1,000 to charity and take a dip in the bone-chilling waters of a live well on a lobster boat is gaining momentum.
Newell came up with the idea as a way to help the families affected by a devastating house fire in Pubnico on Jan. 7 that claimed the lives of four children, and to keep paying it forward in memory of Carmen Faith Huskilson, a young Shelburne County girl who died at the age of 5 in January 2016 and whose death, and words from her parents, inspired a huge pay it forward movement.
“I got to thinking about what happened in Pubnico and I wanted to help and try to help raise some money,” said Newell in an interview.
“I was trying to think what I could do. I can’t carve ducks or can’t knit blankets to put in an auction,” he said. “Then I thought I can jump in my live well and challenge some of my friends to do it. I know what they’re like. Put them up to a challenge and they’re going to do it.”
It didn’t take long after Newell posted his video challenge on Facebook for the responses to start coming in, with fisherman posting their own videos doing the live well dip and issuing more challenges to friends. “It seems to be spreading around pretty quick,” he said.
Within 24 hours his video had been viewed more than 15,000 times.
Newell said he is hoping to get 99 fishermen in LFAs 33 and 34 to take up the challenge by the end of January, which would add up to $100,000 for charity.
“Any charity across the tri-counties,” said Newell. “Whatever is a special charity to you would be fine.”
Newell said he and his crew aboard Ted’s Legacy are making their $1,000 donation in memory of his father, Ted Newell, adding the live well dip was also in honour of his father. Half of their donation will go to the Pubnico Head families and the other half to Paying in Forward in Memory of Carmen Faith Huskilson.
Newell is also asking others to make their donations to a special cause in memory of loved ones.
Newell has started a Facebook page, ‘Live Well Challenge – Take the Plunge’, where videos of fishermen accepting the challenge and taking the plunge are being shared.
Here's one of the videos from the Facebook:
Anthony Atkinson and his plunge: