Brrr! Mayor takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Mayor challenges four other council members to take on fundraiser
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LAKE COMO — Over the past few weeks, videos of celebrities, athletic teams and everyday people dumping buckets full of ice water over their heads have gone viral.
Known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, this viral phenomenon is raising awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS], and Mayor Mike Ryan was not one to be excluded from the challenge.
Mayor Ryan said he was challenged by several residents and elected officials.
The challenge requires the nominee to dump a bucket of ice water on their head within 24 hours of being challenged, or else they are required to donate $100 to the ALS Association.
Not every challenge is the same, however, with the rules changing in each video. Some people have poured the water over their heads instead of donating, and many others are both donating and participating in the challenge.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, according to the ALS Association’s website, www.alsa.org.
ALS is a terminal disease that causes motor neurons to die, resulting in the loss of muscle movement.
According to Mayor Ryan, he recently filled up a five-gallon bucket with ice donated from Bar Anticipation and had help from borough administrator Louise Mekosh and public works superintendent Brendan Maas, who helped dump the freezing, icy water on his head.
“It was cold,” Mayor Ryan said.
Mayor Ryan said Mr. Maas assured him he was going to dump the water on the count of three, but things did not quite play out that way.
“He dumped it on two,” the mayor said. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”
Despite being wet and chilly, Mayor Ryan said the challenge was fun and will also be writing a check to support ALS financially.
“I think the challenge brings the spotlight onto the fact that ALS is such a debilitating disease,” Mayor Ryan said.
He said he hope the challenge raises awareness and money for research into a cure or a way to prolong the life of someone diagnosed with ALS.
According to the ALS Association, approximately 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year and it is estimated to be responsible for nearly two deaths per 100,000 people annually.
Mayor Ryan said the people battling ALS are the unsung heroes.
“There are thousands of people whose families went through the struggle and have lived it,” Mayor Ryan said.
He added that his term as mayor began by being dunked in dunk tank, and his term would now end with a bucket of ice water.
Mayor Ryan challenged Councilwoman Patricia Tzibrouk and Councilmen John Carvelli, Kevin Higgins and Brian Wilton. All four council members are up for re-election this year.