Cold Water Challenge punishment: Dunk tank for charity - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Cold Water Challenge bridge jump 'punishment' a dunk tank for charity

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HAM LAKE, Minn. (KMSP) - Redemption can be cold, but in this case, it’s for charity.

A Coon Rapids teen who was filmed jumping from the 610 West River Bridge in Brooklyn Park in early May, prompting a police search of the Mississippi River. The stunt led to criminal charges, but those behind at are now working toward redemption by apologizing and raising money for a local charity.

Joe Sanislo, 19, and his friend, Jordan Meuleners, secured a dunk tank donated by Houle Insulation and are charging $5 a dunk to benefit the Twinkling Angels Fund, which was established in Anoka County by the parents of Madison and Parker Thurner.

"I know both of us would like to say sorry to the first responders because it could have turned out differently," Meuleners said. "Hopefully, they can come and dunk Joe and myself later on."

Madison and Parker Thurner were family friends who died in 2002 when a van they were riding in caught fire. The fund supports families in crisis -- mostly for those who can't afford tombstones for children.

The dunk tank will be part of the Twinkling Angels Golf Tournament in Ham Lake, and the teens are calling their cause "Bad Stunt Turns Into Good Dunk."

The stunt was intended to be part of the “Cold Water Challenge” in which an individual jumps into cold water and his or her nominee must donate money to charity. Then, the recorded stunt is placed on social media tagging a new nominee.

In retrospect, both Sansilo and Meuleners admit they didn't put a lot of thought into the original bridge jump. In fact, the incident was taped just two hours after the nomination came two weeks ago.

"Basically, the whole thought process behind it was, '16,000 people made Cold Water Challenge videos, but 16,000 people made the same Cold Water Challenge video," Meuleners explained. "We wanted tot ake that to a different level."

They certainly did, because the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office -- which vocally opposes the challenge -- responded after witnesses called 911. State helicopters and boats were mobilized for nothing.

Sanislo made it safely to shore and is now facing disorderly conduct charges; however, he hopes they will be dropped.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I wasn't trying to do any of that."

MORE: DNR warns against rising to 'Cold Water Challenge'

Days after Sanislo's jump, friends of 16-year-old Davis Colley confirmed he drowned in Eagle Lake after he was nominated to do the Cold Water Challenge.
Meuleners'
s father, Ken, told Fox 9 News that he was disappointed when he learned his son had been the camera man. Together, they decided that if the point of the Cold Water Challenge was bragging rights on social media and charity perks, they should do just that.

"You raise your kids to do the right thing and sometimes they trip," Ken Meuleners said. "Give them some advice, and hopefully, they'll learn from it."

Both Sanislo and Meuleners will be by the dunk tank until 8 p.m.

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