Sheriffs answer Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

Rutherford, Leeper, Beseler challenge four other sheriffs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, continues to soak up national headlines.

Now, our local sheriffs have joined in to help raise awareness and funds for the progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Challenged by Jacksonville businessman John Falconetti, the sheriffs removed the gear that can't get wet, handed in donations to the ALS Foundation and stood ready and a little nervous Wednesday as they were doused with buckets of ice.

On the front line were Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler, Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford, and Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper.

"I never would've thought in a million years I would let somebody dump water on my head in a police uniform in front of the media, but it's amazing what you'll do, it really is. But it's all for a good cause," Beseler said.

"Actually it feels pretty good today, it's so hot," Rutherford said.

"I'm dry (already). The sun is hot, it's one of the hottest days of the year, so it's a good day to get dunked," Leeper said.

Rutherford said he accepted the challenge in honor of his friend's mother, who suffers from ALS. He said the sheriffs made their donations to the foundation in her honor.

And the Ice Bucket Challenge continues. The three sheriffs of the 4th Judicial Circuit challenged the four sheriffs of the 7th Judicial Circuit, which includes St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia and Putnam counties.
"This has been an incredible phenomenon. It really has," Beseler said. "The marketing idea behind this is ingenious. Whoever thought of it should go into private business and make a lot of money. This is really an amazing thing. I've never seen a phenomenon like it."