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Whipped cream challenge benefiting 17 Strong Foundation going viral on social media

Cause bringing awareness and raising money

Whipped cream challenge benefiting 17...

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - There's a new phenomenon hitting social media. It's similar to one that became a media sensation three years ago in the summer of 2014 that benefited the ALS Association.

This one, however, is called the "Whipped Cream Challenge," which was started to benefit the 17 Strong Foundation.

It was created by Ryan Teixeira, the 20-year-old Arroyo Grande alum who died earlier this year after courageous public battle with cancer.

"I'm super excited about where it's going," said Ryan's mother Holly Teixeira. "This is his vision and he wants this to go viral and that's what we're going for. We're thinking big."

Like the "Ice Bucket Challenge," this movement calls for people to take a whipped cream pie to the face while also nominating friends, family members and others to do the same within 24 hours or to make a financial donation to the foundation.

Participants are encouraged to tag their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with #whippedcreamchallenge and #17strong.

It's a concept Ryan's parents say he came up with while receiving treatment in the hospital.

"This all started in the hospital when Ryan didn't qualify for other programs," said Ryan's father Steve Teixeira. "When he woke up from surgery after his first round of treatment, he said I know what we're going to."

The idea was to come up with an idea that would go viral on social media and benefit his 17 Strong Foundation.

"The idea is raise money," said Holly Teixeira. "Raise money for his non-profit. His non-profit is to send young adults on victory trips."

The new foundation benefits young adults battling life-threatening illnesses that may be too old to receive certain help from youth-focused organizations.

The plan is to allow these adults the ability to choose a "victory trip," so they can fulfill a life-long dream.

"A victory trip is something that you choose," said Holly Teixeira. "We felt that if they were able to choose and dream what they wanted to do, that's what's going to set us a part. It could be a trip or it could be an experience, it could be meeting somebody you've never met before or jumping out of an airplane or actually taking a trip. It's going to look different for everybody."

Launched on Sunday, the Teixeiras say the idea is already a big success.

"We've had several notes already from people from across the country. Love what you're doing, keep it going and they've donated $5 or $10 and that's awesome," said Steve Teixeira.

While the Whipped Cream Challenge islready a big hit locally, the hope is to take it far beyond.

"I want it to go viral," said Holly Teixeira. "We nominated Justin Turner. We nominated Steph Curry."

Steve Teixeira agrees that this is just the start of a movement that has the potential to become the next social media hit.

"We've got offers into Tim Tebow," said Steve Teixeira. "We're trying to get Ellen to pick it up. We're trying to get Jimmy Fallon to pick it up and really blow this thing up."

The Teixeiras emphasize anyone can take part, no matter if they have personally received a challenge.

"Be creative," said Steve Teixeira. "Have fun. Invite someone. If you don't get invited, doing wait, be a part of the movement."

For more information on the 17 Strong Foundation, visit www.seventeenstrong.com

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