JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was a cool, or shall we say cold, way to raise money: Jacksonville leaders took an icy dip to raise money for the ALS Association.
Government and business leaders took part in the ALS Association’s CEO Soak Tuesday evening, dunking into ice baths in a spinoff of the group’s Ice Bucket Challenge.
Money raised went to the mission to find a cure for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and to support those battling the illness.
“There has been progress in the last couple of years,” said Ray Carson, CEO of ALS Association. “Several new drugs out on the market that are sending life, we still have not gotten the silver bullet in finding the cure or something to reverse this disease, but we are getting closer.”
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
State Attorney Melissa Nelson, the top prosecutor of the 4th Judicial Circuit, said she took part to honor her grandfather, who passed away from ALS.
“My grandfather passed away from ALS in the late 90s so this is always a disease I’ve cared about, and obviously Jimmy Judge was a friend of mine too so this is a great cause and hopefully we’ll find a cure for this,” Nelson said.
Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters took part to honor Jimmy Judge, a beloved Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office assistant chief who bravely battled the disease and passed away in January.
“It was a tough loss. Almost a 30-year veteran of JSO, a good friend, really, really a great guy. We miss him, so I figured this is a way that we can come out and honor him,” said Sheriff Waters.
News4JAX anchor and reporter Vic Micolucci soaked in honor of Sharon Siegel Cohen, an award-winning winning journalist and long-time executive producer at WJXT-TV. She passed away in 2020 after being an advocate for a cure.
Participants continue to raise money for the cause, with the ultimate goal of contributing $75,000 to research and support. As of Wednesday morning, the event had raised $35,000.
No donation is too small (or too big) and contributions are tax-deductible.