Brookline Ice Company Flooded With Delivery Requests for ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’
Some retail stores are running dry of their usual ice supply.
Adrianna Signore can’t believe how many people have contacted the Brookline Ice Company to request special deliveries for bags of ice so they can host their own “Ice Bucket Challenge,” the viral sensation sweeping the Internet to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“We have had just a huge amount of people coming in to purchase bags of ice for the challenge, and we have been delivering ice to private businesses all over the city,” said Signore, the director of development for the Brookline-based ice distribution and retail company. “It’s definitely hit the city pretty hard. It’s quite impressive how fast this happened. My Facebook page—everything is blowing up with people doing it.”
The “challenge,” where participants take a bucket of ice cold water and dump it over their head while recording it on camera, was started locally by Peter Frates, a 29-year-old former Division I Boston College baseball captain who was diagnosed with ALS a little more than two years ago. Frates started the trend to drive attention to fundraising efforts to help find a cure for the rare, progressive neurodegenerative illness.
The challenge has been taken up and accepted by everyone from City Hall officials to athletes and reporters around the state.
It’s also led to what Signore said is a large spike in company sales, as the 20 trucks deployed daily from Brookline Ice Company’s headquarters have been dashing from location to location to fulfill orders from people wanting to help spread awareness about the cause.
“Both pick up and delivery has been pretty consistent,” she said. “People are constantly calling. We are rushing around doing deliveries.”
The Brookline Ice Company typically has accounts with businesses who place ice orders, but they also handle calls from private companies and have a retail store where patrons stop in to make purchases. Signore said liquor store retailers that they deliver supplies to regularly, specifically in South Boston, have been calling in to say that they’re out of ice due to the demand surrounding the challenge.
“I’ll be interested to see when we hear back about orders how it sparked an increase to the other people we distribute to,” she said, adding that they company has “plenty of ice” on standby, and no fears about running dry.
Signore said Brookline Ice Company isn’t just making deliveries as everyone else gets in on the challenge, however.
She said the retail store is offering free bags of ice to the first 50 people who show up on location to buy ice and participate in challenge. The company is also hosting their own bucket-dumping session with employees on Friday.
Signore said with the weekend ahead, as they continue to meet demands for companies hosting larger challenges with employees during special events, she doesn’t see distribution slowing down anytime soon.
“I can’t predict how long this will last for. It’s a really fun and interesting way to raise awareness for ALS. So we will just have to see,” she said. “To be honest, I didn’t think it would keep going like this, I thought yesterday maybe was it. But today it’s even stronger.”
This isn’t the first time the Brookline Ice Company has been the go-to place in times when ice is a valuable commodity. As one of the largest distributors of ice in the Boston area, stocking liquor store coolers, bar ice boxes, and restaurant fridges, employees were working overtime in 2010 when Brookline declared a boil-water order barring establishments from making their own ice.