Almost two-dozen Elon University students, faculty and staff members joined in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Aug. 24, by dumping buckets of water on their heads in front of Koury Business Center. Dining Services will be donating money to the cause for each person who participated.
Aramark Resident District Manager Pulkitt Vigg spearheaded the event. Coming into his new position several weeks ago, Vigg thought this would be a good way for dining services to interact with students.
“I think this is the beginning of the evolution of dining,” Vigg said. “We had lots of fun and engagement.”
The challenge is simple. Post a video of yourself being doused with ice water and nominate a few friends to partake, or donate $100 to the ALS Association. Many participants have done both.
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 alsa.org. Individuals with ALS eventually lose all motor functions, including muscle movement and speech. Approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS each year.
Vigg challenged University of North Carolina-Wilmington as well as the rest of the Elon faculty and staff for the ice bucket challenge.
“It was awesome, much better than I was expecting,” Vigg said. “I’m so grateful to those who came out and participated.”
Glenn Austin, manager of Acorn Coffee Shop, chose to support the cause because he had a friend who had ALS.
“It’s an ugly disease,” Austin said. “I’m always up to support the cause.”
Freshmen Chris Brittlebank and Alex Gambini decided to take part in the challenge when they were walking by and faculty members invited them to join in.
“I was actually challenged already and hadn’t completed it yet,” Gambini said. “I thought that this would be a fun way to knock it out.”
Brittlebank and Gambini said they were impressed with Elon initiating the Ice Bucket Challenge.
“It really shows how much Elon cares,” Brittlebank said. “It’s nice to know that Elon supports such a great cause.”
Betty Garrison, business librarian, decided to join in when Chris Fulkerson, assistant vice president for administrative services, asked her to.
“When he asked, I said, ‘Absolutely,’” Garrison said. “It is such a great cause, and I’m glad I participated.”
Garrison wishes to nominate all her friends and all Elon students to complete the challenge.
“It’s so important to raise awareness for this disease,” Garrison said. “It’s so hard to hear about people who completely lose all of their motor control. It’s heartbreaking.”
The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $79.7 million in donations for the ALS Association.