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Airdrie Aldermen take up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By: Christina Waldner

  |  Posted: Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 12:28 pm

Alderman Fred Burley and Alderman Ron Chapman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with the help of the Airdrie Fire Department, Aug. 18.
Alderman Fred Burley and Alderman Ron Chapman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with the help of the Airdrie Fire Department, Aug. 18.
Christina Waldner/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie Aldermen Ron Chapman and Fred Burley were doused with buckets of ice cold water by members of the Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) outside City Hall on Aug. 18 as they took up the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds and awareness for ALS.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was started in the US and is inspired by Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who is living with ALS. Frates was the first to do the challenge on July 29.

Participants dump a bucket of ice water over their head, videotape the dousing and challenge three more people to complete the challenge within 24-hours. If those challenged don’t want to get wet, they can chose to make a donation to an ALS organization instead.

Chapman and Burley decided to take part in the chilly challenge and together donated $100 to the ALS Society of Canada.

Firefighters Todd Pearson, Kyle Morrison, Paul Sunderland, and Chris Santerre, from the AFD’s B Platoon, 87 Station were on hand to help Chapman and Burley complete the challenge.

“(We’re happy to) support the cause of ALS,” said Pearson. “Anytime we can help raise awareness.”

Chapman’s reason for getting involved was personal.

“My class president from 1979 at George McDougall High School, Fred Bishop, is currently fighting ALS,” Chapman said. “This one’s for Fred.”

Chapman and Burley challenged Mayor Peter Brown, MLA Rob Anderson and Wild Rose MP Blake Richards to be the next to complete the challenge. They also challenged the other members of Airdrie city council to do the challenge and to make a donation to the ALS Society of Canada. Alderman Kelly Hegg was the first to take up the challenge on Aug. 18. He in turn challenged all the directors at the City of Airdrie. Hegg said his uncle died of ALS.

“I’m glad I did it. I’m proud I did it. I’m really glad Burley did it with me,” said Chapman. “I really hope that the people we challenge take part or, at the very least, donate to ALS.”

According to the ALS Society of Canada, $339,139 had been raised from the challenge in Canada as of Aug. 19. A total of $6,520 had been raised in Alberta as of Aug. 19.

There is no cure for ALS, a progressive neuromuscular disease that causes motor nerve cells to die and muscles to degenerate. According to the ALS Society of Canada, 80 per cent of those with the disease die within two to five years of receiving their diagnosis.

There are currently 2,500 to 3,000 Canadians over the age of 18 living with the disease.

More information can be found online at, www.als.ca


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