By Danny Schrafel
The art of the “epic ice bucket challenge” has reached Huntington in a big way.
Whether by calling out entire businesses, dousing entire marching bands or employing backhoes and dump trucks to complete the challenge, the tactics have grown more elaborate and theatrical – and the money keeps arriving in waves for the ALS Foundation.
As the challenge has spread, a certain bit of showmanship has emerged. Signature Premier Properties and its agents raised more than $6,000 for the ALS Foundation by having a payloader dump ice water on their heads on Aug. 18.
In keeping with rules of the challenge, Signature owner Peter Morris called out three businesses to follow suit. One of them was McCarthy & Reynolds, PC, teamed up with Ensignia Premier Title. Law firm partners Michael McCarthy and Lee Reynolds accepted the challenge, and went one better than Morris and company’s payloader delivery. They called in the dump truck, adding several-thousand more water-logged dollars to the ALS kitty.
They’re part of a wave of businesses joining the ALS ice bucket challenge, a fundraising ideal that has gone viral and raised millions of dollars.
Huntington Honda General Manager Ray Brown didn’t wait to get tagged for the challenge. “No one challenged us. We chose to get involved because I think it’s a very important cause and we wanted to do something,” Brown said.
In all, 27 Huntington Honda staff members, each with matching Honda blue buckets, lined up and doused themselves. The group raised $750 for the ALS Association.
For the sheer number of participants, though, Huntington High School’s Blue Devil Marching Band might take the cake.
This Sunday, the entire band – 132 students in all – took the challenge at Finley Middle School following a show that capped off the weeklong band camp. Soon after, the challenge went out to members of Huntington school board and administrators, and two trustees, the district’s director of fine arts and Superintendent James Polansky walked on to the field and got soaked.
It’s all contributing to a viral nationwide philanthropic wave that has resulted in a pile of cold, hard cash for the ALS Association. The organization, which provides care services to people battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease, supporting their families and funding global research programs in search of a cure, has raised more than $94 million in under a month and attracted 2.1 million new donors. During the same window of time last year the organization raised $2.7 million.