If you happened to be on Instagram or Twitter late Saturday afternoon, you would have witnessed an incredible challenge! Actresses and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society supporters Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs challenged the organization’s founder Captain Paul Watson and select Sea Shepherd crew and staff worldwide to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, currently sweeping social and entertainment media.
The challenge is to raise awareness of crippling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The rules of the game require that if one does not accept and fulfill the challenge within 24 hours, they must donate $100 to ALS, which goes to find a cure. Sea Shepherd does NOT support animal research, but it DOES support raising awareness about the disease. Therefore, the organization and its founder accepted the challenge!
Crew members and staff from Operation GrindStop 2014, Sea Shepherd’s pilot whale defense campaign currently operating in the Faroe Islands; Operation Relentless, Sea Shepherd Australia’s most recent Southern Ocean whale defense campaign; and Operation Infinite Patience, Sea Shepherd’s dolphin defense campaign that is again gearing up for its September 1st start in Taiji, Japan, along with Captain Watson himself and select staff and onshore volunteers in the USA and Australia spent Sunday taking the challenge and uploading their videos to YouTube.
Playing along with the game means one must issue a challenge to someone else just as one takes his or her own. With iconic Notre Dame in the background, Captain Watson issued his challenge while standing before Paris’ picturesque Seine River to another dedicated Sea Shepherd supporter, actress and activist Pamela Anderson. Adam Meyerson, Captain of the Brigitte Bardot issued his challenge aboard the Bardot in the Faroes, a Danish protectorate, to Mary, Princess of Denmark. Melissa Sehgal, senior leader on the ground for the Cove Guardian Infinite Patience campaign, issued her challenge to Director of “The Cove,” Louis Psihoyos. Sea Shepherd IT CEO Omar Todd, representing Sea Shepherd Australia’s Antarctic Campaign, issued his challenge to Colin Barnett, Western Australian State Premier. Representing Sea Shepherd USA were Lisa Agabian, Director of Media Relations & Communications; Farrah Smith, Senior Leadership Giving & Development Officer; Dave Hance, Campaign Coordinator and Southern Ocean crew member; and volunteer celebrity Cove Guardian, Sea Shepherd supporter and reality star Simone Reyes, from “Running Russell Simmons” on Oxygen TV. The four issued their challenge from Los Angeles and responsibly chose to use reclaimed water, as Los Angeles is experiencing a drought at present.
“Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs are valued supporters of Sea Shepherd and have actively joined our mission to defend ocean wildlife worldwide. As individuals who deeply care about the plight of the planet and all its life in many forms, it’s no surprise they would want to also raise awareness about this devastating disease,” said Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson.