Councilman Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Councilman Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


ed_als_120Lansing Councilman Ed LaVigne took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Monday to raise awareness of The ALS Association's fundraising campaign.  LaVigne was challenged by the Parks & Rec Department's Recreation Supervisor Pat Tyrrell, who was similarly soaked last week.

"It's been an ongoing thing," Tyrrell says.  "I think all of the town employees have done it.  ALS is a good cause to donate to."

The idea is to post a video of yourself pouring a bucket of ice water over your head, explaining why you are doing it and challenging three more people to do the same within 24 hours.  They have the option to donate to the ALS Association or to pur ice water over their own heads -- or both.  The challenge was originated by the Senerchia and Quinn families in Westchester.  Since their YouTube videos went viral, the idea has raised spectacular amounts of money to fight ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Tyrell nominated three members of the Town Board: Ed LaVigne, Doug Dake and Robert Cree.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease.  It affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, which slowly leads to paralysis.  The brain loses the ability to control muscle movement, and eventually it can lead to total paralysis.  There is no cure for the disease, though a drug called 'riluzole' can somewhat slow its progress.

As of Monday, when LaVigne took the challenge, the ALS Association’s national office and its 38 chapters had received a combined $79.7 million in donations.  In the same period last year, July 29 to August 25, the foundation raised $2.5 million.  The New York Chapter had raised over $3.4 million, considerably up from the $102,000 it raised in 2013.

LaVigne nominated the remaining Town Board members, Ruth Hopkins, and Kathy Miller, and Deputy Supervisor Sharon Bowman.

"It's a great morale booster for the Town employees when they can dump it on one of their elected officials," Lavigne said.  "This is very pleasant compared to how I've been dumped on before!  If people are anxious about this or have health problems this is not something that is mandatory.  It's just something to push it forward and make more people aware of it."

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