Firefighters had all the right equipment this week to help Penticton’s mayor cool down for the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Garry Litke stood in front of a fire truck parked outside City Hall on Wednesday afternoon as a fireman stationed on the front bumper poured a pail of cold water over the mayor’s head.
This summer has seen thousands of people from all walks of life take the challenge, which raises awareness and money for research into treatments for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Participants record themselves being splashed as creatively as possible, then publish the video and challenges to others on social media. People who decline the challenge are encouraged to donate money instead. Others do both. Litke was challenged by Penticton Western News reporter Joe Fries.
“The real message that I want to get through is this is a fundraiser for ALS and I don’t want people to think that just because they get a bucket of ice water poured over their head they’re free from contributing to the ALS campaign,” said Litke. “We’re having a lot of fun doing it, but let’s not forget to contribute.”
Litke subsequently challenged Penticton MLA Dan Ashton, Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas and those participating in the Valley First Challenge Penticton Canada.
Ice water was also dumped on Best Damn Sports bar and The Pasta Factory owner Duane Jordan (pictured above) on Wednesday. Jordan raised just over $200 for ALS. He challenged three other people, Leigh Follestad, Steve Garrett and Max Picton to take the plunge as well.
According to the ALS Canada website, the Ice Bucket Challenge as of Thursday had raised $1.3 million, over a third of the way towards the organization’s goal of $3 million. The challenge was created by Pete Frates, a former U.S. college baseball player who lives with the disease.
Donations to the cause can be made online at www.als.ca or at Penticton City Hall.