A few months ago, it would have been difficult imagining that dumping oneself with a bucket of ice water would become a national phenomenon. Some $62.5 million dollars later, that’s exactly what it has become.
From professional sports players to former U.S. presidents, the fundraiser for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has gone viral and swept the nation. The rules are simple. Within 24 hours of being challenged, the participant is tasked with dousing ice water over their head and then donating $10 to ALS research. Failure to do so means donating $100.
Joining the cause are several of Illinois State’s very own athletics programs, each team putting their own spin on the challenge. After being challenged by former ISU coaches Mark Kingston and Dana Ford as well as former ISU star forward Jackie Carmichael, men’s basketball head coach Dan Muller went above and beyond by being drenched with seven buckets of ice water by the team.
“Prayers go all out to all those suffering from ALS and all those suffering from neurological diseases,” Muller said before the basketball team gleefully began dumping ice water on him. Players Tony Wills, Reggie Lynch and Nick Banyard also took part in the challenge.
Joining Muller was the ISU football coaching staff, who each took turns jumping in a tub of ice water for the cause. Their version of the challenge was specially dedicated to linebacker Pat Meehan’s father Mike, who passed away from ALS in 2013.
Perhaps the most ambitious rendition of the challenge came from ISU’s hockey team, who accepted their challenge on the ice rink. Players David Krienke, Jeremy Gaddo, and Jagger Colarossi sat underneath a goal post on the ice as they were drenched in freezing water.
Taking up a similar challenge for a different cause was the women’s basketball team, led by coach Barb Smith, who participated in the Cold Water Challenge . Like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Cold Water Challenge involves being drenched with freezing cold water, but with the proceeds going towards the Kay Yow Cancer fund.
Videos of the football, basketball and hockey team’s ice bucket challenges can be found on GoRedbirds.com along with many other ISU sports teams participating as well. Be sure to check them out, and if you’re brave enough, participate in the challenge yourself.