Local News

Ice Bucket Challenge Still Going Strong

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which began last month and has become a viral Internet sensation, has attracted millions of contributors. Often taking videos and posting challenges on Facebook and other social media, political figures, celebrities, and friends across the nation have dumped tons of ice on their heads and sent in millions of dollars in donations. To date, the ALS Association has received over $80 million in donations from some two million donors. The organization which raised $64 million in all of 2013, has described the influx in funds as “a game changer” for the organization’s efforts. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease—is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and breathing. Median survival time from onset to death is 39 months, and only four percent survive longer than ten years. Monday afternoon, Thayer County Emergency Manager Bill McPherson answered the challenge extended to him by the Deshler Fire Department who also challenged the Hebron VFD and Thayer County law enforcement. McPherson made his own challenge to the Nebraska Association of Emergency Managers executive board, but stated that making donations was a personal decision for everyone. “You shouldn’t feel obligated to meet the challenge unless you want to make a donation,” he said. “It’s a personal decision everyone should be free to make without prejudice.” Several local entities have met the challenge and posted videos online. Gary Watson assisted McPherson with the challenge.

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