Vickroy: An icy dousing for a great cause
BY DONNA VICKROY firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @dvickroy August 22, 2014 9:10PM
Updated: September 26, 2014 1:25PM
On Friday afternoon, SouthtownStar reporter Steve Metsch and I went “under the bucket” to help raise awareness and money for ALS research.
When Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki issued the challenge to us, I called Teehan’s Tavern on Oak Park Avenue to see if they would do the honors.
Teehan’s is a favorite hangout for Jim Angsten, a retired health teacher from St. Rita High School and former defensive coordinator for the school’s football team.
Angsten was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, on April 1, 2013. The disease has progressed rapidly.
One year ago, he was able to ride his bicycle in a fundraiser organized by family and friends. Today, he relies on a motorized vehicle to get around.
“All of this attention is great, it’s overwhelming,” Angsten said, through tears, of the amazing response nationally to raise funds for ALS research through the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The fundraising phenomenon involves someone challenging you, mostly through social media, to get a bucket of ice water dumped on you and to make a donation.
Not much has changed as far as treating the disease since Lou Gehrig died of it in 1941, he said.
“Now, maybe that will change,” he added. “I am as positive as I can be.”
Much of Angsten’s family, including his wife, Pam, and some of his friends joined us for the soaking. Even his grandchildren — Adeline, Ava and Jake — took the challenge.
In addition to getting soaked and donating at alsa.org, Steve and I paid it forward. Because our challenge came from Tinley Park’s mayor and because Angsten lives in the village, we kept most of it local.
We challenge the staff of the Tinley Park High School newspaper and the Andrew High School marching band to get really wet for the fight against ALS. And because Steve is obsessed with Cheap Trick, he threw out a challenge to the rockers as well.
For more information about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, go to alsa.org