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Inyo supes accept Ice Bucket Challenge

August 29, 2014

Rev. Kent Puls (hidden under a cascade of ice water above) ended up on the cold end of the ice bucket challenge that was soaking its way through the Grace Lutheran Church’s Pre-School and Daycare Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will accept the Challenge. Photo by Deb Murphy

The Inyo County Board of Supervisors and a number of county department heads have accepted the ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The challenge was made at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting by Fifth District Supervisor Matt Kingsley, who said he has personally witnessed the struggle against ALS as his brother, Phillip, was recently diagnosed with the disease.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a fundraising campaign for the ALS Association. Originally, those who are challenged have the option of dumping a bucket of ice water over their head, or donating $100 to the ALS Association. Now, most participants accept the dousing and donate whatever amount they can.
The campaign kicked off this past July, and quickly gained momentum. Currently, there are millions of videos on YouTube and Facebook of everyone from celebrities to political leaders participating in the challenge.
Also, anyone who accepts the challenge has the right to challenge their friends, family and neighbors to participate.
“My brother Phillip (age71) has been actively engaged in farming for the last nine years since his retirement as a professor of Psychology at Bluffton College in northwest Ohio. He is the oldest of my seven siblings and is truly a unique character who continues to provide our family with both inspiration and comic relief.”
All five members of the Board of Supervisors, as well as Administrative Officer Kevin Carunchio, County Counsel Margaret Kemp-Williams, Health and Human Services Director Jean Turner, Public Works Director Clint Quilter, Sheriff Bill Lutze, Clerk-Recorder Kammi Foote and Auditor-Controller Amy Shepard, have agreed to participate in the challenge.
The public is invited to attend the event at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday before the Board of Supervisors begins its regularly scheduled meeting. The challenge will take place on the lawn in front of the Historic Inyo County Courthouse. The public is invited to watch.
In addition to watching the challenge, the public is invited to place bids for the opportunity to douse the volunteers; all proceeds will be donated to the ALS Association.
“I understand that there are many causes and situations that need attention,” said Kingsley, “but for me, the opportunity to highlight the ALS cause and the fact that my brother is suffering from ALS led me to challenge the Board of Supervisors. My motivation is really about my brother Phil.”
Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them.  Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.
According to Kingsley, every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS – more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people.
The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis. With recent advances in research and improved medical care, many patients are living longer, more productive lives. Half of all those affected live at least three years or more after diagnosis. About 20 percent live five years or more, and up to 10 percent will survive more than 10 years.
According to the ALS website, as of Thursday the ALS Association has received $94.3 million in donations compared to $2.7 million during the same time period last year.
While the challenge began as an option between donating or being soaked in ice water, many now choose to do both.
Kingsley said that his donation to the ALS Association will match the highest bid that comes in from residents interested in dumping the ice water on his head. He also said he is planning to nominate the Mono County Board of Supervisors to participate in the challenge.
According to the ALS Association, the ice bucket challenge has generated 2.1 million new donors.
Bidding and donations for the Board of Supervisors Ice Bucket Challenge will be accepted at and during the challenge.
Kingsley said residents can donate without attending the challenge by visiting the ALS Association website at www.alsa.org
In recent weeks the Ice Bucket Challenge has come under fire for wasting water as California suffers a drought. For that reason, Kingsley said that the Inyo board has decided to do their challenge on the courthouse lawn. “We’ll be watering the lawn, so we won’t be wasting water,” Kingsley said.

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