Ice-Bucket Challenge

Ryan Pong, MD
Virginia Mason Hospital & Seattle Medical Center
Seattle, WA, USA

Ryan Pong, MD
Ryan Pong, MD

What do you get when you have a bunch of colleagues and friends separated by multiple time zones and thousands of miles and seemingly stymied by a global pandemic? An outstanding virtual meeting! Part of the fun at all SNACC meetings is social interaction. Some of the social interaction includes the dinner to help fund the William L. Young Neuroscience Research Award. In 2019, when we met in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, under the starry evening sky after dinner, it was the Board members on the hot seat — well, cold and wet seat, as they made themselves available for the dunk tank (Figure 1, left panel). This year, I had two sons that were very disappointed they would not be able to participate in the fun — soaking the current SNACC President. 

Figure 1

Figure 1: William Young Fundraiser 2019 Phoenix: dunk tank (left panel) left to right, Rafi Avitsian, Deepak Sharma, Chanannait Paisansathan, and Jeff Pasternak and a participant is soaking then-president, Rafi Avitsian (right panel).

But what to do with no dinner — no fundraiser? Thanks to COVID, we all were attending the meeting in our own homes and offices. But thanks to Twitter and the magic that is collective thinking while reminiscing through tweets… and perhaps a little tweet taunting by some well-intentioned SNACC members — @AlanaFlex and @asabcejo, not to mention any names — a challenge soon emerged: Get 10 people to donate $100 and our current President @deepak_neuro would dump a bucket of ice water on himself after the meeting. Who knew there would be so much enthusiasm to see @deepaksharma get soaked?! There were so many donors that President-Elect @chanannait jumped in to encourage even more support for the William L. Young Neuroscience Research Award.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Virtual audience for the Ice-Bucket Challenge led by the hosts Paul Garcia and Alana Flexman.

Figure 3: Ice-bucket challenge for William Young Virtual Fundraiser 2020: Immediate Past President Deepak Sharma (left panel) and newly elected President Chanannait Paisansathan (right panel) have buckets of ice water dumped on them.

At the conclusion of a wonderful virtual meeting, we were graced by two celebrity hosts: @PaulGarciaMDPhD and @AlanaFlex, who lead us through the fun (Figures 2 and 3) and more than $6,000 was raised!

View the Ice Bucket Challenge video here.

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