Mayor Bill Elliot, Councillor June Boyda, Councillor Joe Branco, Councillor Bert Horvey, Councillor Patricia MacQuarrie and Councillor Tyler Gandam stood shoulderto- shoulder on the steps of City Hall looking apprehensive, jittery and in some cases nervous. But they weren’t in hot water. In fact, quite the opposite as they participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
People from all walks of life, all ages and from all around the world have participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And now the Wetaskiwin City Councilors have waded in. This miraculous unplanned fundraiser just happened and has surprised the ALS Canada by going viral and surpassing $10 million in fundraising. ALS raised approximately $2 million in the same time period last year. A fundraiser’s dream.
The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone's head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and encourage donations for research.
We’ve all heard about, seen a multitude of videos and many have participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The rules are simple. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed while having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads. They are then eligible to nominate others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or they are required to make a charitable financial donation, usually $100.
With donations to ALS Canada having surpassed $10 million, ALS Canada and the ALS Provincial Societies expressed their gratitude for the financial support and also the awareness it has created for this lesser known cause
“Dear Canadians, The outpouring of support you have shown for the ALS community, ALS Canada and the ALS Provincial Societies has truly been transformative. Thanks to you, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is no longer an unknown disease. It is with a profound sense of gratitude we share that your donations have surpassed $10 million. Thank you Canada!
A fundraiser that is fun. A fundraiser that is creative. A fundraiser that links people from all walks of life, career paths, ages. A textbook example of the power of social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge is all of these rolled into one.
ALS is a non-contagious disease that affects approximately 3,000 Canadians. ALS Canada says two out of 100,000 people aged 18 and older are diagnosed each year. Some cases of ALS are hereditary – about 10 per cent – where those affected have a particular gene that leads to the disease. The bad news is that researchers don’t yet know exactly what causes it.
Pictured: Left to right, Councillor Patricia MacQuarrie, Councillor Joe Branco, Councillor June Boyda, Mayor Bill Elliot, Councillor Tyler Gandam and Councillor Bert Horvey are cooled down by firemen as they wade into the Ice Bucket challenge. Photo by Barry McDonald