Havelock News
  • Havelock teachers respond to challenge, get wet for ALS

  • It was a wet ending to the work day for teachers at Arthur W. Edwards Elementary School in Havelock on Monday.
  • It was a wet ending to the work day for teachers at Arthur W. Edwards Elementary School in Havelock on Monday.
    About 30 of the school’s teachers participated in the ALS ice water challenge.
    Using buckets and pans, teachers dumped water onto the heads of their colleagues. Similar challenges have been captured across the country on social media in an effort to raise money for the ALS Association.
    Third-grade student Chris DeSosa challenged the school’s teachers to participate.
    “Chris challenged one of our teachers and she in turn challenged all of the rest of the teachers,” teacher Karen Swanner said.
    DeSosa said he came up with the idea after his cousin Austin from Orlando, Fla., challenged him.
    “It was funny because I dumped an ice cold bucket of water on my head,” he said.
    DeSosa was at the head of the line on Monday as teachers lined up on the walkways in front of the school.
    “It’s important because it’s a team coming together to raise awareness for the disease,” Swanner said of what is sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease. “We have staff members who have lost family members to ALS and we’re just trying to go along with the challenge and also make sure that we make donations and raise awareness for the disease.”
    Teacher Sharon London has a personal connection to the disease.
    “My mom died of ALS 11 years ago and one our students challenged me yesterday on Facebook,” London said.
    Principal Kathy Leffler joined the line of the teachers to get wet, with the teachers challenging all other schools in the county to get wet and make donations for the cause.
    “I thought it was great,” Leffler said. “It was wet. We had to stay away from all the lightning and thunder, but it worked.”
    Leffler said a jar has been placed in the front office to collect contributions for the ALS Association.
    Called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, eventually leading to death, according to the ALS Association website. The progressive disease begins with the loss of voluntary muscle action followed by eventual paralysis. The list of people who have had ALS includes Stephen Hawking and baseball player Jim “Catfish” Hunter. It affects one to two people in every 100,000.
    For more information on ALS, go to the association website at www.alsa.org.

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