Taking the plunge for a good cause

From left to right: Kim Bacon, Maren Koren, George King and Sarah Crossfield take the plunge for ALS. - S. Kucharski
From left to right: Kim Bacon, Maren Koren, George King and Sarah Crossfield take the plunge for ALS.
— image credit: S. Kucharski

It’s raining ice and water!

The viral ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign has hit Fernie and last weekend, a group that has a personal connection to the cause took a hit of ice water.

The campaign, which has seen celebrities and civilians alike posting videos all over social media, dictates that participants donate money to the cause and dump a bucket of ice water over their heads to reflect the symptoms that those afflicted with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) often endure.

George King, his wife Sarah Crossfield, Maren Koren and Kim Bacon lined up underneath a bobcat filled to the brim with ice and water on Sunday afternoon to do just that.

King’s aunt was recently diagnosed with the condition, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which rapidly weakens the muscles and ability to speak or swallow. Crossfield’s mother passed away from the disease in 2002, after struggling with its debilitating symptoms for 15 years.

“This is for you, mom,” said Crossfield with a bracing smile in her challenge video.

Median onset survival for people with ALS is three and a half years.

“She was incredibly strong and [my parents] both managed to live with this painful, life-altering disease with a lot of love and a fantastic sense of humour,” said Crossfield.

In addition to challenging their family in Medicine Hat and in England, King and Crossfield donated $100 to the cause.

“It’s something that’s affected my life on a personal level so I figured why not get some friends together for a good cause,” said King.

Koren nominated the boys at Whiskey Jack, a residential land development in Sparwood, as well as construction company Parastone. Bacon nominated The Free Press staff and friend Annie Korver, a rider from Calgary.

As of Sunday, August 24, the ALS Association has received $70.2 million in donation — in comparison to the $2.5 million raised last year.

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