THUNDER BAY -- What do Taylor Swift, Sidney Crosby, Rob Ford and myself all have in common?
We, along with thousands of others, have accepted the bone chilling Ice Bucket Challenge, a social media phenomenon that is raising money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
And now Mayor Keith Hobbs, MPP Michael Gravelle and TBT Newshour anchor Courtney Rutherford have been challenged to add their name to the list.
The challenge involves participants finding creative ways to pour freezing water over themselves while filming it and uploading it to popular websites and making donations to ALS charities.
More than $15 million had been raised across North America by Tuesday.
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Thunder Bay Police Service Staff Sgt. Murray Brown, who was diagnosed with the disorder in December 2012, has been overwhelmed by the reach of the challenge.
“It’s quite amazing what’s going on right now,” he said Tuesday, shortly before this reporter was drenched.
“I’m touched by the response from celebrities, non-celebrities, family and friends, and colleagues. It’s a great idea”
ALS, which is also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a degenerative neurological condition that does not have a cure.
Brown said at least nine people in the city are currently living with the disorder.
The local police service has rallied around Brown and come together to be one of the biggest local supporters of the cause.
Const. Julie Tilbury said more than a dozen members of the city police force, including chief J.P. Levesque, have already accepted the challenge.
“Over the past week or so members have been nominating each other and have been going through the process and posting videos to Facebook,” Tilbury said.
The police will be hosting an event at their Balmoral Street headquarters on Friday where more members will take the challenge, including Brown.
One of the appealing parts of the challenge is the ability to nominate others afterward.
Brown is hopeful the push will help raise the profile of disorder and raise funds that will hopefully help find a cure.
“It’s all about the cause and bringing ALS to the forefront, as well as all the other diseases people talk about on a daily basis.
Hopefully it keeps on going and is not just a fad, but something that will continue on for a long, long time,” he said
Donations can be made online and a walk to benefit the local chapter of the ALS Society of Canada will be held on Sept. 27.
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