It’s cool to give: How Ellie and I handled the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

A week or so ago I started hearing about this thing called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  It seemed like it got bigger and more popular every day – widespread, viral even.  If somehow you’ve missed it, here’s what it’s all about.

What is ALS?

The ALS Association is an international organization that supports people with what we commonly call Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  The actual name of the disease is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  First recognized in 1869, it became widely known and understood when it was announced that beloved baseball player Lou Gehrig had been stricken with it, ending his career with the New York Yankees.  In a nutshell, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, eventually leading to death.

Estimates are that up to 30,000 Americans between 40 and 70 years old have the disease at any given time.  There’s no cure for ALS, but the ALS Association is working to change that.  One way they’re working is to raise money for research.  One way we can help is by taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Initially the idea was to challenge a person (or group) to either donate money to an ALS Association charity or take the challenge, which involves dumping, or having dumped, a big bucket of ice water over your head.  Some people challenged simply make a donation and forego the ice; others do both.

As the idea spread, everybody from top celebrities and business leaders to the average guy on the street were getting involved – and in many cases donating money and suffering through the ice bucket dump.  After doing the challenge, the person or people then challenge someone else to do it, and so on and so on down the line.

Ellie and I were challenged a few days ago by a leading insurance broker here in Fort Smith.  We’ve decided to make a donation to this worthy cause but pass on the ice dump.  Here are some videos of people you may know who did both.



But like with anything else, things don’t always go as planned, as you’ll see in the video below.



That was pretty funny – but amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is no laughing matter.  For about 10 years, I had known a man who ran a distribution business similar to Glidewell Distributing.  We weren’t the closest of friends, but definitely solid associates.  Several years ago, he was stricken with ALS and ended up passing away.  He was the only person I ever knew who had the disease, and I thought of him when I first began hearing about the Ice Bucket Challenge.

To make a donation to the ALS Association through the Ice Bucket Challenge (or for any other reason), go to the association’s donate page.  It’s easy – and very cool.

Nick & Ellie