County board member gets soaked by winner of friendly charity drive

Contributed Layla Buttermann, 9, pours cold water on Otsego County Rep. Danny Lapin on Sunday, March 14, as the payoff for a fundraising challenge. 

At the end of the fundraising challenge, $40 meant the difference between a cold-water bath and a dry day, Sunday, March 14.

Otsego County Rep. Danny Lapin, D-Oneonta, raised $2,100 for Opportunities for Otsego, but his friend Dan Buttermann raised $2,140 for Clear Path for Veterans.

Therefore, it was Lapin who got drenched with cold water Sunday.

“We will probably do it again,” Buttermann told The Daily Star on Tuesday, March 16. “It went better than we thought it would and it was fun to do.”

The fundraising challenge was a month-long competition between the two friends, who participated in the Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump together in 2019. With the jump canceled by the coronavirus pandemic this year, Lapin and Buttermann said they wanted to do something similar to help people in need this winter.

Drawing on the popular Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2014, Lapin proposed a wager to Buttermann: whoever raised the most money could dump freezing water on the person who raised less money.

About halfway through the challenge, Lapin upped the stakes by saying if he won, he would let Buttermann’s three daughters dump the water on their dad.

Instead, Nadia Buttermann, 6; Layla Buttermann, 9; and Malena Buttermann, 11; joined Raphael Lapin, 13; in dumping water on Danny Lapin on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Lapin’s wife, Lindy Lapin, poured the fifth and final bucket on him Sunday.

“Danny is a good partner and a good sport,” Buttermann said.

The two men set a fundraising goal of $1,500 each, so they beat their total goal by $1,240.

The challenge’s resolution was aired live Sunday on Facebook by Buttermann.

“It was worth it,” Lapin said afterward. “It was a fundraiser among friends and I can’t say enough about how touched I was for the outpouring of support among our community. It was well worth it to have a bucket of water dumped on my head and if I had to do this every year to raise $4,000 I would.”

The temperature was close to freezing Sunday, with a cold wind making it worse. Only two days earlier, it had been close to 60 degrees in Oneonta, so Lapin got unlucky, he said.

“I had a slight sore throat yesterday but I feel OK,” he said Tuesday.

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Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7218.

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