TWELVE bags of ice, 11 brave volunteers, and more than $5000 was raised towards research for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) capped off a successful Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser at Ashleigh House last Friday.

Ashleigh House Lifestyle Coordinator, Ann Cunningham said the third annual fundraiser was a huge success. Money was raised via a raffle, lucky numbers, a wear something blue casual day for staff, and the ever-popular Ice Bucket Challenge auction.

Ms Cunningham said volunteers were dunked wearing fun outfits, ranging from superheroes, including Spider-Man, to prisoners, mimes, and fairies.

By 1pm last Friday, residents at the Sale-based aged care home began bidding on locals to pour icy water over. Bids varied from $150 up to $350. The most generous donation was a $1500 bid to dunk Ashleigh House Service Manager, Tracey Sheen, who was aptly dressed as Elsa from Frozen. The cold never bothered her anyway.

Ms Cunningham made a special mention of Ohana Services, which raised $1100 to have founder and owner Lachlan Floyd dunked again this year. He was dressed as a prisoner and escorted by his prison officer for the day, Chris Makar, to the chair before the icy dunking got underway.

Lachlan Floyd from Ohana services dressed up as a prisoner and Chris Makar was a prison officer.
Photos: Zoe Askew (unless otherwise specified)

Ohana Services thanked everyone involved via Facebook.

“A big thank you to the crew who raised some $1100 for Lachie to be covered in ice and cold water,” the post said.

“A big well done to Ashleigh House for organising the day, we love coming together with this amazing team.”

Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester returned from Canberra to an icy reception at Ashleigh House.

“Bessie (Newberry) paid $350 for the pleasure of seeing me drenched and even gave me a hug and a little pep talk before the ice shower,” Mr Chester said.

“For the record, that’s a Sale Football Club jumper I’m wearing; I haven’t joined the Collingwood Army even though Scott Pendlebury’s mum, Liza, did the honours with the icy water after she copped the same treatment.

“It was a fun day, and plenty of money was raised to support research into finding a cure for MND.

“Well done to the staff for putting on an entertaining event for everyone who stayed dry.”

Those who stayed dry observed the dunking from inside the cosy Ashleigh House lounge room. It was decked out with blue balloons and blue beanie-wearing residents and staff who embraced the internationally recognised colour synonymous with FightMND.

On Monday, the federal government announced it will invest $2 million in 2024-25 to support innovative, safe, rigorous, and high-quality MND research projects.

The funding announcement coincided with this year’s Big Freeze campaign.

The Big Freeze is a huge part of the fight against MND, raising more than $16 million through sales of the FightMND blue beanies.

The Big Freeze campaign and FightMND, the organisation championed by former AFL footballer Neale Daniher, who lives with MND, reached a fundraising milestone on Monday. The tally now stands at over $100 million raised in 10 years.