One of my colleagues — Justin Crann — referred to himself as collateral damage on Tuesday afternoon on account of my big yap.
It’s not like I threw him under the bus, however in the moments following our being challenged by the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge, to Crann it felt like I’d committed a momentous error in judgment.
I guess all I can say is oops. I goofed, but for a good cause.
So, shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Crann and I headed out to the Times-Herald parking lot to accept the challenge issued to us less than 24 hours prior.
Granted, we weren’t greeted to the above seasonal temperatures the city had been bathing in for the previous few days, but at least it wasn’t -30 C outside.
Since Crann deemed himself to be the collateral damage in this, I was forced to purchase the ice for our challenge — no big deal.
A group of Times-Herald employees, including other members of the editorial department, joined us outside to witness the ice bath we were about to drench ourselves in. Sgt. Cliff Froehlich of the MJPS was also there to make sure we didn’t cop out.
Once everyone settled in the gauntlets were thrown down.
Crann nominated Crystal Froese, chair of the South Hill Community Association; Mandy Higgins, marketing co-ordinator for the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre; and producer Jared Robinson.
I challenged Kelly McElree, executive director of the Moose Jaw Health Foundation; Tim McLeod, lawyer and Prairie South School Division trustee; and Mayor Deb Higgins.
A questionable countdown later and our participation in the ALS ice bucket challenge poured down on us. And yes, it was cold.
My sunglasses even fell halfway down my nose, making for a comedic photograph I can remember long after my tenure at the Times-Herald comes to a close. While taking the challenge supports Lou Gehrig’s disease from an awareness standpoint, the monetary donations Crann and I have since made to ALS Canada are truly what makes this ongoing challenge that much more important.
Although I don’t know anyone who lives with ALS, it’s a cause that I’ve seen — through television — impact the lives of athletes I used to watch play professionally, most notably former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason.
Hundreds of Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with ALS this year, and if we — as a society — can do what we can to raise funds for what is currently an incurable disease, then we should. The ALS ice bucket challenge is one of those ways.
While I’ve already challenged three people to take part in the challenge, I’m challenging you to donate to ALS.
And by the way, Crann and I shook hands after we had completed the challenge. He no longer considers himself collateral damage.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks