FALL RIVER: A young Fall River girl proved that you can never underestimate the power to drive change and generosity.
Grace Mimnagh won $500 from the Nourish N.S. Food & Film Challenge for her short film on food and climate change. Well, knowing there was no Lions Christmas Parade this year or school food drives, both of which play an integral part in the yearly program that supports those less fortunate, Grace decided she would donate her money to the non-profit organization.
But it wasn’t just going to be a donation.
She issued a challenge to the Fall River and area community to match it. And if the community matched it, The Laker News’ part-owner, and reporter—plus incredibly involved community guru—Pat Healey would have to take a bucket of water over his head.
Well, Grace’s $500 turned into $3,000 for the Lions Christmas Express, resulting in Healey having to take the water bucket, despite all his attempts to Grinch out of it.
The video promoting the community challenge can be found by clicking here.
So, on Dec. 23 at the LWF Hall, with a small crowd on hand, and following COVID19 health guidelines, Grace got the chance to dump the bucket of water over Pat’s head cheered on by the small amount of people (mostly other cheque presenters) and those at home watching on the livestream provided by Payzant’s Home Hardware and Dagley Media on The Laker News FB page.
Before getting to do the dump, Grace spoke to Pat on the livestream about why she did the challenge and her thoughts of tripling her donation.
“I feel really great,” said Grace, an Ash Lee Jefferson Elementary School student. “I never knew I could raise this much money.”
She said she felt bad that the Lions Christmas Express couldn’t collect food for those in need in her community, so that made her want to help.
“Because the Lions Christmas Express couldn’t do their parade and collect food, and I wanted to help families have a healthy Christmas dinner,” said Grace, nine-years-old.
As Pat went to get changed to have the water bucket dumped on him, a few cheque presentations were made to the Lions Christmas Express.
It included Grace presenting Lions Christmas Express representatives Stephanie Dube, Jen Reed, and Paula Beck-MacKenzie with the $500 cheque from Nourish N.S. Cheques from Payzant’s Home Hardware and Links of Love/Sarah MacDonald-Miles were also given to the Lions Christmas Express.
After that, it was time that Grace had been waiting for. To dump a bucket of water over Pat Healey’s head, as her younger sister said so cute-like in the video challenge.
With some help from her brother, Grace lifted the bucket shoulder height and they both dumped the cold water on Pat. He immediately felt it, combined with the -6-wind chill that it was outside the Hall, located at 843 Fall River Road.
Pat quickly exclaimed “where’s my towel. WHERE’S MY TOWEL” As he sought to dry off and warm up. After getting the towel wrapped around him by Grace’s mom, who had a face mask on, he waddled like a duck inside the LWF Hall where a change of dry clothes awaited.
Healey spoke about the act of kindness Grace shown by donating the money and how he was happy to help, even if it meant getting dumped on.
“It was so amazing to see that Grace thought of others, in her own community first for the $500 from Nourish N.S.,” said Healey. “I was so blown away by her willingness to help. It inspired me to want to do my part to see if we could turn that into more money raised.”
Knowing his rapport and good name in the community, Pat thought with the Lions Christmas Express needing the support with no food drives, why not take a bucket of water. He felt the community would step up.
“It’s for a great cause and I figured might draw some more interest,” he said. “It sure did that, way more then I ever thought. I was so pleased to help triple that donation by Grace.
“This would not have at all happened if it weren’t for a generous kind young girl in Grace. She was the reason $3,000 was raised from this challenge. It was all Grace.”
He knew he had no chance of it not happening.
“I think I would have donated if I saw Grace’s video,” said Healey. “Heck, I think my own mom donated to see Grace dump the water bucket on me.”
Matt Dagley of Dagley Media was on hand to livestream his friend Pat getting soaked by Grace for The Laker News Facebook, and provided the video at the top of the story via his YouTube channel.
From the start of the video with a short chat with Grace, to cheque presentations and time for Pat to quickly go strip off his hoodie and pants with his swim shorts underneath, to Pat getting dumped on and then bee-lining it inside the LWF Hall to dry off and change to warmer clothes, took just under six minutes.
It created a lot of laughs for those watching online and who were there in person in their vehicles.
Here are the photos as the water bucket got dumped on Pat Healey taken from the video. (Dagley Media photos)