Social media has helped amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease raise awareness over the past three to four weeks. This all started when the story of Pete Frates a 29-year-old former college baseball player who can no longer speak - hit the net. With social media the “Ice Bucket Challenge” is on fire for the ALS raising awareness and raising money for research for this dreaded disease. Dignitaries from former George W Bush to CBS newscaster Bob Schieffer to musicians Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks have stepped up and taken the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge.’
There are approximately some thirty thousand Americans who have been diagnosed with the disease. With ALS one’s mind remains sharp however their nerve cells are attacked and leads to total paralysis. Most patients with the disease usually only live between two and five years once they are diagnosed.
From early June through August 25th approximately 2.2 million people have posted their “Ice Bucket Challenge” on the popular Facebook social media site. Twitter has topped over the three million mark with people making reference to it. The ALS Association has had a huge jump in donations. In the three weeks since the rise in donations people have sent in over fifteen million dollars to the ALS Association and in 2013 during that same period only one and a half million was received. There have been over three hundred thousand new donors so far. Corporations along with celebrities and just plain working people and kids continue to support the cause and the numbers continue to rise.
Last Thursday the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ hit the Grand Ridge and Sneads area as local students challenged each other to step up and take the challenge. Turner Gainer a Freshman at Sneads High School accepted the challenge from team mate Locke Photo and quickly sent the challenge on to other team mates, family and friends.
On Friday afternoon the Jackson County Courthouse steps was the place to be as the challenges continued. Employees from the Clerk of the Courts office took the challenge that started with Julie Melvin putting her boss Dale Rabon Guthrie in the hot seat. Guthrie accepted and soon nine other employees were taking on the challenge. First Guthrie took center stage in a frog suite complete with snorkel and fins. She was seated in front of the crowd and doused with a bucket of cash?? Guthrie then explained the money, over $350 was raised during the day from those not wishing to get wet. She then unsuited from the rubber suite and took her place alongside the other nine employees and the drenching began. Employees Dale Rabon Guthrie, C.J. Jones, Dawn Williams, Tempera Watson, Debbie Reed, Jennifer Barrentine, Shirley Barfoot and Tabitha Pumphrey where chilled by other employees with big red Tractor Supply buckets of ice water.
On Saturday morning over twenty employees of Zaxby’s Restaurant in Marianna gathered in the parking lot to take the ALS challenge. Employees stood under a full size front end loader filled with ice water in much anticipation of the chilling event. Zaxby’s owner / operator Claire Grigsby accepted the challenge herself and some employees soon followed suite. When making the official Zaxby’s challenge Claire named several other Zaxby’s locations and the challenge was on. Slowly tractor operator Charles Reiff began to help them complete the challenge by slowly tilting the bucket on the front end loader allowing the employees to enjoy a “chillin” soak. Zaxby’s collected over $310 for ALS and management will be adding to that number and forwarding the money to the ALS Association.
Jackson County, Florida always steps up to do their part in helping others. Whether it be collecting canned food for the hungry, water for fire fighters, supplies for hurricane/tornado victims or just cleaning the yard for a hospice patient who is unable to do it themselves, we as “Jackson County Folks” always lend a helping hand.
Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /homepages/21/d175088933/htdocs/site/web/templates/gk_news/html/com_k2/templates/default/item.php on line 191