George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Ice buckets and wet blankets

| August 20, 2014

Wendy and George under the ice bucket

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably seen videos or pictures or at least heard someone tell about people dousing themselves with a bucket of ice water to raise awareness and donations for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It’s a national sensation, gone viral, crazy, and some people think it’s just plain stupid.

ALS is most commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the beloved Yankee’s baseball star who brought the disease national attention in 1939, when he announced he had been diagnosed and retired from baseball. People with ALS suffer a progressive neurodegenerative process that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. This includes involuntary movement, such as blinking, breathing and gag reflex. Patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

As many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time, and there is no known cure.

According to Time Magazine, the ALS Association was able to raise nearly $16 million from July 29 through August 18β€”an incredible figure, given that for all of 2012, the organization pulled in a total of about $19 million.

According to the same article (and several others), there are a lot of people bitching about how silly it is for everyone to dump cold water on themselves. To these people I say this: get back to me when you’ve held the hand of someone dying from ALS and watched the frustration in the eyes of a mind that is perfectly acute trapped in a body that will not function. We’ll talk about a waste of awareness after you stroll through pretty much any nursing home in the U.S., and see a 32-year-old man or 40-year-old woman strapped to a wheelchair with a feed and trach tube, suffering from a wasting disease.


Werner’s ALS ice-bucket challenge

Derek Leathers, Werner Enterprises president and chief operating officer, took on the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS and issued his own challenge -- to all ...

We took the challenge, you bet. We donated and we dumped water on our own heads and generally made a spectacle of ourselves and that doesn’t bother us a bit. If it bothers you, don’t watch it. Don’t be that person who complains when someone hands you a delicious ice cream cone, because it’s cold.

Todd Dills, Mike Ryan and Mike Rowe – go look silly for charity. We await your videos.

  • David S. McQueen

    While no one would claim that ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is not a terrible affliction, I question the need for people to act in an absurd manner to “raise awareness”. Maybe the people feel a need to “do something”, but it hardly helps to alleviate the problem. If you REALLY want to do something, donate money to the organizations that are trying to find a cure. The “raise awareness” goal Wendy Parker touts would also be better served if she spelled Lou’s name correctly.

  • Wendy

    We donated and did the challenge. And a typo doesn’t make the difference in awareness, I can assure you. How’s that ice cream cone?

  • David S. McQueen

    If you have some objective criticism, make it. If not, shut up. Maybe you feel superior to others because you dump water on your head and feel oh so self-righteous, but that doesn’t help cure ALS. Stunts like that are simply for your own aggrandizement, not to “make a difference”. Or will you simply make snarky ad hominem comments like so many on the left.

  • Wendy

    Thanks for making my case completely. You’ve provided a stellar example of exactly what I was talking about in the post. Good job.

  • Hal Orford

    Now that right there is why I look forward to every one of your articles. Great to meet you and George at the show yesterday.

  • Pingback: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – George and Wendy | Poliakoff & Associates, PA

  • taborkk

    Wendy, bless you and George for your participation in this cause, took your challenge!!!

  • Thom

    Actually, here’s the issue. Today’s society has become so selfish and shallow most people wouldn’t look twice at a homeless man on fire. Most of society lives on social media and, unless it can give them their 15 minutes, wouldn’t urinate on a blazing homeless person. Facebook, Twitter and Reality TV have done nothing but bolster the mentality of “if it’s not about me, I don’t care!” I see it first hand on my daughter’s Facebook, my co-worker’s Facebook and saturating my TV listings every minute of every day.
    My fire department, me included, participated in the ice bucket challenge and donated to those trying to find the cure. That’s how this works, do the challenge AND donate money. And, unless you know a better way to over-shadow the selfishness of today’s society, nut up or shut up. It’s working. What have you done lately?

  • David S. McQueen

    I know what I’ve done for society and although you THINK you know what I’ve done, you’re wrong. I guarantee that the good works I’ve done in my life (almost 7 decades long now) will overshadow yours. Unless you get off your self-righteous pedestal and make some positive comments (instead of denigrating others who you don’t know), then your comments are without merit.

  • Jim Allen

    In a nutshell, the ice bucket challenge raises awareness AND raises money that GOES TO THOSE FINDING A CURE. It’s not a “self-righteous pedestal” that Wendy and Thom are speaking from, it appears more to be from a sincere concern of the well-being of all. You, however, are eating an ice cream cone that appears to be made of ignorance and blind misunderstanding of how raising money for any cure and raising awareness of an issue works. Did it come with sprinkles? strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.