COUNTY — Many Putnam County residents have joined a national trend of
dumping ice on their heads. Why are they doing it? They are taking the
“Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise funds and awareness for ALS often
referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The event went viral earlier this
summer and has raised $79.7 million for ALS.
The fundraiser went
viral when former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who has
ALS, began posting about the challenge on Twitter. Frates is a patient
advocate known for his fundraising and advocacy work. The Ice Bucket
Challenge went viral on social media and has become a pop culture.
Between June 1 and Aug. 13 it was reported that 1.2 million videos had
been shared on Facebook of people taking the challenge.
challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of
ice water poured on their heads and then challenging others to do the
same. The common stipulation is the nominated person must comply or can
forfeit by making a charitable financial donation for ALS.
ALS is a
motor neurone disease characterized bymuscle spasticity, rapidly
progressing weakness due to muscle atrophy and difficulity in speaking,
swallowing and breathing. Median survival time from onset to death is 39
Many local people have a personal reason for taking the challenge.
Ottawa resident Jim Heringhaus dumped the ice water on his head he was
doing it for his 1967 classmate Bill Croy, also of Ottawa and for his
brother Tom Heringhaus, who also had ALS.
Croy also had a
grandson, Evan Large, who took the challenge to have ice poured on his
head. This challenge worked its way to the Ohio Northern University
Football team. They took the challenge in honor of Bill who was a 1970
graduate of ONU where he played football and ran track.
in front of his church, Chas Myers challenged the entire church to
contribute in memory of former member Pete Zaleski, who retired from
Philips and moved to Tennessee.
Traveling east to Leipsic, Rev.
Tim Eding, accepted the challenge. He also takes the time to discuss his
own neurological disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP)
characterized by progressive weakness and spasticity of the legs. Rev.
Eding states during his challenge video that while planning to donate to
ALS, he also planned to donate to HSP.
After the first soccer
game for a U8 Columbus Grove Soccer team, which was a win, Coach Crystal
Dunlap let the team dump the ice bucket on her to help raise awareness
and money for ALS. Crystal said she would match anything the team
donated and also quickly told the kids what it was for.
“I can no
longer speak very many words and my fingers tire fairly quickly when I
type, so I’m going to utilize the posts of others to communicate what
it’s like to live with ALS and why I am elated with the Ice Bucket
Challenge phenomena,” Bill Croy said in a blog. “Keep dumping that ice
“This effort is huge and I know you all want to be a part of it,” he commented.