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President Ross accepts ALS ice bucket challenge, calls out all MAC presidents

Taking a deep breath as he shut his eyes tightly, Central Michigan University President George Ross braced himself for the five gallons of icy water about to be dumped on him after accepting the ALS ice bucket challenge Wednesday, Aug. 20.

In front of more than 2,000 students from the 2014 Leadership Safari, CMU athletics and the marching band, Ross sat on a chair in the middle of Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Student Government Association President Charles Mahone dumped icy water down Ross’s back.

The crowd of students let out a thunderous cheer as Ross reacted to the freezing water soaking into his clothes.

“I feel really cold and really wet,” Ross said as he left the field. “This is simple, but it’s for a good cause. It’s a small thing that everyone can do to raise awareness about the charity.”

The ALS ice bucket challenge started several months ago to help raise awareness about the ALS Association.

ALS Association is a non-profit 501c3 charity set of supporting individuals diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and finding a cure.

According to the organization’s 2012 tax form 990, the charity collected $19.6 million in revenue from donations, grants and investments.

Of the $19.6 million, 34 percent, or $6.8 million, was spent on research grants to help find a cure.

The essence of the challenge is for participants to dump icy water on their heads or donate to the charity within 24 hours of being challenged. After completing the challenge, the participant then challenges someone else and the cycle begins anew.

Ross was challenged by Stan Shingles, assistant vice president of University Recreation, and immediately challenged Mahone and all the university presidents in the Mid-American Conference.

Accepting the challenge, Mahone sat down and had had ice water dumped on him by Ross.

Mahone said he challenges CMUPD Officers Jeff Ballard and Laura Rico.

Also accepting an icy bucket challenge on the field was CMU Men’s Basketball coach Keno Davis, challenged not by one person but by three.

Davis was challenged by the CMU Baseball team, athletics assistant Jeff Smith and UC Davis coach Chris Davis.

“It was tough to speak to the group when all I could think about was the three buckets of icy water about to be dumped on my head,” Davis said.

After embracing the three buckets, Davis challenged the CMU Men’s Basketball team to take on the challenge next.