TORONTO —Sunwing Vacations accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge this week and toasted it with a glass of champagne.
Speaking in front of their Toronto head office, where over 200 employees came into work wearing the company colour, orange, to watch their co-workers ‘get iced’, Group Vice President Lawrence Elliott formally accepted the challenge on the company’s behalf and pledged their support to ALS Canada.
He then went on to invite key representatives of the national tourist boards of The Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico to do the same adding “I challenge Paul from the Bahamas, Eloy from Cuba, Abdalah from the Dominican Republic, Philip from Jamaica and Rodrigo from Mexico.”
He was joined by company Founder and Chairman, Colin Hunter, and Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Dawson. Also in the firing line were Brian Gocool, Director of National Sales Centre; Alvin Chau, Chief Information Officer; Ram Sud, Vice President, Payload; Jennifer Perry, Director of Product; Cristina Caponi-Davis, Vice President, Inventory/Costing/Destinations; and Deana Murphy, Vice President, Retail Sales.
The company nominees were all served a glass of champagne by a Sunwing flight attendant before being invited to lift up individual ice buckets to complete their challenge. However, before they could do so, seven employees hiding on top of a Sunwing Airlines’ maintenance van doused them with gallons of icy water from above. Chaos descended upon the group with ice flung in all directions as a spontaneous water fight broke out among the candidates.
Speaking afterwards, COO, Andrew Dawson, was keen to stress the true purpose of the campaign, which seeks to promote awareness for ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, a potentially fatal illness that affects thousands of Canadians every day. He added that Sunwing Vacations would be donating $10 to ALS Canada for each time their Ice Bucket Challenge video posted at https://www.facebook.com/SunwingVacations was shared via social media using the following hashtags #icebucketchallenge #StrikeOutALS #champagneserviceONICE, with a total donation of up to a maximum of $10,000.
He went on to say that while he and his co-workers had had fun getting a soaking for an extremely worthwhile cause, he did not want to ignore the fact that for many communities around the world, the search for clean drinking water is still a daily struggle. He then pledged an additional donation to the Sunwing Travel Group’s regular charity partner, OneXOne, which has founded over 60 water projects across Africa.