ALS fundraiser getting a cool reception

Photo by Kevin Hoffman Meredith McCarthy reacts to receiving the ALS ice bucket challenge at the Rita’s Water Ice in Boyertown on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.
Pottsgrove Football Coach Rick Pennypacker gets doused by his players at football camp as part of the ALS ice bucket challenge. (Photo from Facebook Screenshot)

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So have you been challenged yet?

The way things are going, if you haven’t had a bucket of ice water dumped on your head yet you will soon.

It’s called the Ice Bucket Challenge and it is a fundraising gimmick for the ALS Association that has gone viral on Facebook and everywhere else — and it’s working.

According to the ALSA website, the effort has generated $31.5 million as of Wednesday. By this same date last year, donations totaled only $1.9 million.


ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, it is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

The fundraiser works like this: Someone posts a video in which they talk about ALS and then issues challenges to as many as five people, telling them they have 24 hours to post a similar video or they have to write a $100 check to ALS.

Even ex-presidents are not immune.

Wednesday morning, a video of George W. Bush was making the rounds.

Saying, “I don’t think it’s presidential,” Bush says he will instead “write them a check.”

At this point, former first lady Laura Bush appears and dumps a bucket of ice water over the former president and says in the camera, “the check is from me. I don’t want to ruin my hairstyle.”

Bush then doubles down on the presidential angle and challenges former president Bill Clinton, “whose birthday was yesterday. My gift to Bill is a bucket of cold water.”

Locally, the challenge is also making its way through the population.

In Boyertown, several businesses have taken up the challenge. Let’s Get Dancing! gathered dancers and doused them all, then challenged the Rita’s Water Ice in town.

The Rita’s crew stepped up and then challenged the folks at the Boyertown library.