Alaska Politicians Take ALS Challenge


Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

Folks may have noticed a number of online videos popping up regarding the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.” The online awareness campaign challenges people to dump a bucket of ice water over their head and nominate other folks to do the same. The goal is to spread awareness about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and raise money for finding a cure. A number of celebrities, sports teams and politicians have accepted the challenge, including Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Murkowski posted a video online last week that shows her jumping into the fish hold of a tender in Southeast. The video includes a damp Murkowski talking about the ALS challenge after her plunge.
“When we take on a challenge we take it head on. So I’m going to challenge every single member of the United States Senate – do something, do it right. Demonstrate your commitment to getting rid of ALS. Go dunk your head in a bucket of ice, go jump in a fish hold in a tender in Southeast Alaska in Alaskan waters.”

Murkowski also made a trip to Kodiak last week and while she remained on dry land she did comment on the dip she took a few days before arriving.
“I have been a very tireless advocate in the United States Senate trying to raise awareness about ALS and how we need to be working together to find a cure. It’s a personal issue, I have a family member who passed last year of ALS. And so all of those in my family are very keen on trying to raise awareness.”

When she heard about the challenge, Murkowski said she thought she could do better than simply dumping a bucket of ice on her head. She said her son is an engineer on a fishing tender based out of Ketchikan and decided to dump ice into the fish hold and take the plunge.
Murkowski said it was cold, but well worth it. While in Kodiak she took the opportunity to further her challenge and encourage other leaders in Alaska to take the ice bucket campaign to new levels.
“We’re all engaged in a very heated campaign at some points in time but you know maybe it would be good for everybody to throw a bucket of ice water or find a fish hold to jump into – take a little bit of a break from that campaign. So to everyone who’s an elected official or is running for elected office – I challenge you. Let’s help raise awareness about ALS and take the ice bucket challenge.”
Governor Sean Parnell also accepted the challenge and posted a video of it earlier this week.
“My friend Dan Sullivan challenged me on the ALS ice bucket challenge. He jumped into the water in Seward, I’m jumping into it here in Anchorage for a good cause. I’m Governor Sean Parnell, taking the ice bucket challenge and challenging Speaker Mike Chenault and Senate president Charlie Huggins when I’m done. See you shortly.”
As of yesterday the ice bucket challenge had raised more than $31.5 million in donations for the ALS Association. You can learn more about the campaign and watch videos of others taking the challenge on the association’s website .

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