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Ice bucket challenge raises over $700 for local food pantries
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Area community members gathered at Dahlonega’s Yahoola Creek Park this past Saturday to watch public safety officials and local politicians alike get showered in cold water and ice – all for a good cause, of course. 

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An Aug. 27 ice bucket challenge fundraiser, organized by local volunteer James Brady, raised $716 for food pantries in Dawson, Lumpkin and White counties. This was the second year the event was held. 

Event donations will be equally divided between food pantries for The Place of Dawson at RIC-Rack, Christ Fellowship, King’s Highway, Unseen Hand, Community Helping Place and the White County Food Pantry. 

The Place’s Dawson County outreach coordinator, Amy Palmer, said that she’s “so thankful for people like James.”

Brady previously served with the Lumpkin County Fire Department for several years and has had an active altruistic presence in the community. 

Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard shared how James has participated with groups like Helping Hands and Community Helping Place as far back as he could remember. 

“He’s got a great heart,” Jarrard said of Brady. “I can always say with James, he’s always there to help with anything in a time of need, whether it’s in this county or other countries throughout the state that he’s helped out with throughout his life.”

Charlie Welch from area band Bad Habits helped deliver the icy waters to most of the challenge’s participants, including Jarrard, Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners chairman Chris Dockery, Brady and Brady’s daughter, Melissa Hayes. 

“It felt like jumping in the river when I was a kid,” said Dockery.

State Sen. Steve Gooch also took part in the challenge and later relished pouring water and ice on his son’s principal, Lumpkin County Middle School Principal Nathan Gerrells. 

Hayes explained that her father organized the event to be held around the time of his birthday. Brady turned 65 on Saturday. 

Smiling, Hayes said, “How many people get ice dumped on them on their birthday?”

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