PEPPERELL — On Monday, Pepperell Police Department Chief David Scott joined thousands of people around the nation in the ALS ice bucket challenge to raise awareness of the disease.
ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
The ice bucket challenge asks a person to dump an bucket of ice on themselves within 24 hours of being challenged or they have to donate $100 to the cause.
Scott completed the challenge with the help of several children at the Pepperell Playground. The video was later posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page.
“I was challenged online by Principal Maureen Lynch of the Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School,” he said “I was also called out by one of our dispatchers.”
A member of the department has suffered losses in his family due to ALS. Chief Scott said this was one reason why he did not want to back down from this challenge.
“The ice bucket portion of this challenge has been great for ALS awareness,” he said “But, it’s the donations that feed the research that will eventually lead to a cure.”
After completing the chilling challenge, Scott challenged all the police chiefs that belong to the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) to join in. He said he would donate $10 to ALS for every police chief that completes the challenge. There are about 60 police chiefs in the organization.
“I wanted to put my money where my mouth is,” he said.
Chief Scott has heard that police chiefs in Stoneham, Woburn, Beverly and Methuen have completed the challenge so far. Groton Chief Donald Palma was to take the challenge on Tuesday.
“The rest of them still have some time so we’ll see how it goes,” he said.
President of Tapestry Communications, Nancy Thomas, the public relations firm for ALS in Massachusetts said that she has never seen anything like this before.
“It wasn’t planned by anybody, it was started by a family in Massachusetts challenging people to raise money,” said Thomas.
She said that in Massachusetts alone, donations have gone from $220,000 to $316,000 in 24 hours.
Sign-ups for two ALS walks in Massachusetts are also on the rise. The walks will be on Oct. 18 in Hamilton and on Oct. 25 in South Boston.
For more information visit www.ALS.org.
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