IAM helps combat ALS

Machinist Sam Beekman (right) put Local 63 President John Kleiboeker up to the ice bucket challenge. Below right, Secretary-Treasurer John Hall douses Kleiboeker to raise funds for ALS.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became a global phenomenon in 2014 and raised $220 million for ALS research and patient care. As a result, significant new investments in research on the causes of and potential treatments for this fatal disease have been made. Year two of the Ice Bucket Challenge officially began July 31 in Boston and will continue through the month of August.

Machinists Lodge 63 got a jump on the field at their annual picnic July 18. There, retired member Sam Beekman, who was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago, challenged Local 63 President John Kleiboeker to have a bucket of ice and water dumped over his head by Secretary-Treasurer John Hall. Beekman’s challenge raised a quick $184 from the membership.

ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeHere’s how the Ice Bucket Challenge works: A person has a bucket of ice and water dumped over his or her head, then challenges three friends to either do the same, donate to the ALS charity of their choice, or do both. Last year, more than 17 million videos of people taking the challenge were posted on Facebook. Those videos were watched by 440 million people a total of 10 billion times.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cure. Find out more at ALSicebucketchallenge.org.

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