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Ice Bucket Challenge Gaining Momentum; CU Movement Taking Up the Cause
Thursday, August 21, 2014 7:00 AM

Ice Bucket Challenge

It’s not complicated: Take a bucket of ice water, dump it over your head, record it and post the video on social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge is fun and quickly gaining momentum. Most importantly, the Ice Bucket Challenge is raising millions of dollars for the ALS Association, a nonprofit organization that raises money for research and patient services, and advocates and promotes awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Here’s how it works, someone challenges you to pour freezing water over your head or pay the price - $100 to support the fight against the Lou Gehrig's disease. The ALS Association reports that most participants are doing both.

Carrie Brown with Beacon FCU doesn’t know anyone directly affected by ALS, but that didn’t stop her from participating in the challenge.

“I think it was a great way for us to work together for a good cause,” says Brown.

Numerous other employees at the La Porte, Texas-based credit union also participated in the challenge, including Beacon FCU CEO Jack McAdoo.

“For me, it is not about the ice. That just makes it fun. It is about helping others,” says McAdoo. “This is a great cause, and Beacon is lucky to have employees that value helping others.  After all, isn’t that what credit unions are all about - people helping people? Imagine if we (all credit unions) did this. What a difference we could make.”

For Beacon FCU Teller Vinny Vuong, it was personal.

“At the age of 10, my niece was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. She passed away six months later,” Vuong said. “It’s tragic when a loved one can’t be cured, and I hope someday there will be a cure for all types of diseases. I pledge to always donate or give my time to participate in events to raise money for a cure.”

So far, Beacon FCU has raised $500. McAdoo says he’s challenged several other credit union CEOs in the Houston and Galveston areas. 

Reportedly, as of Tuesday, the ALS Association has taken in $22.9 million in donations, from both people already familiar with the cause and from 453,210 new contributors.

Cornerstone Credit Union League CEO Dick Ensweiler accepted the challenge from Jason Scott, president and CEO of Pegasus Community CU. Ensweiler says he wants to be “iced” at the conclusion of the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s Sept. 3 golf tournament in San Antonio.

“It’s for a noteworthy cause, and after playing what I anticipate will be a competitive game of golf, it will be refreshing to have a cold bucket of ice dumped over my head,” jokes Ensweiler.

To keep the momentum going, Ensweiler says he has challenged the CEOs of the California, Georgia, Iowa and Ohio leagues.