After accepting a challenge from four Marion Middle School drenched middle school teachers, a bucket brigade of 52 students took turns soaking each other Friday as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
English teacher Jona Neufeld, math teacher Deanna Thierolf, science/technology teacher Kelsey Metro, and band teacher Chris Barlow were doused by social studies teacher Chad Adkins and Neufeld’s husband Darin.
“All four of us made donations and spoke to students about ALS on Thursday,” Neufeld said. “We each also agreed to donate $2 for every kid that took the challenge.”
Prior to the dousing, she said teachers spoke to students about the affects of ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, for which there is no cure, and the fundraiser’s purpose.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the fun,” Neufeld said. “We talked about how the purpose isn’t just to dump buckets of cold water on each other.”
By accepting their instructors’ challenge, students raised over $416 for ALS research.
A “non mandatory” donation bucket was set out in the middle school office Friday for anyone who wanted to donate, Neufeld said. Anyone who knew someone affected by ALS was encouraged to put that person’s name on a list.
Neufeld held a poster that read “In Honor of: Janet K. Sims, Bob Adkins, Tim Griffin, and Papa Lee” as she took her dousing.
“My aunt Sims died from ALS and Mr. Adkins’ grandfather Bob recently passed away from it,” she said.
Other classes have been taking part in the fundraising challenge throughout USD 408.
Though it is hard to keep up with all the area participants, at the elementary school, Pam Jones challenged Laura Baldwin and her sixth-grade class. Sixth-graders added $41 to the global total.
As of Monday, approximately $79.7 million had been raised worldwide according to www.time.com.
Second-grade teacher Ginger Becker gave up her umbrella but opted to wear a raincoat during her challenge.
Principal Justin Wasmuth, secretary Deb Shipman, custodian Greta Smith, and physical education instructor Nicki Case participated either at their homes or at school.
At the high school level, head football coach Grant Thierolf took the challenge and then challenged his team.
The list includes a multitude of students, parents, and county residents.
To donate, visit http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html.