Lowry takes the ice bucket challenge

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Lowry joins the ice bucket challenge phenomenon in 2014-15 first chapel service

Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry joined a long list of well-known people around the globe who are taking the ALS ice bucket challenge Tuesday, Aug. 19, when he volunteered to be doused with a bucket of icy water, during the university’s first chapel service of the school year.

This month, the ALS Association, a national nonprofit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease, issued the ice bucket challenge to the nation. The challenge is to make and post a video of yourself being doused with a bucket of ice water then challenging friends to do the same. Those nominated have 24 hours to either accept the challenge or make a donation to the ALS Association.

In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally “soaked” the nation. Everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake has accepted the challenge.

The social media phenomenon and has raised more than $22.9 million in donations for the ALS Association.

And Tuesday was Lowry’s turn, as his daughter Melinda Raymond issued him the ice bucket challenge in honor of her uncle, and the president’s wife’s brother, Robert, who died of ALS a few years ago. Lipscomb made a donation to the ALS Association, but Lowry couldn’t escape his run-in with an ice bucket while standing in a kiddie pool on stage.

From one president to another, Lowry challenged student body president Drew Watson to get his own dousing within 24 hours in Bison Square.

"We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of the ALS Association, said of the ice bucket challenge which has quickly gone viral across the nation. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative."

“While the monetary donations are absolutely incredible,” said Newhouse, “the visibility that this disease is getting as a result of the challenge is truly invaluable. People who have never before heard of ALS are now engaged in the fight to find treatments and a cure for ALS."

In addition to Lowry’s donation, Lipscomb University will also host the Walk to Defeat ALS on Sept. 27 at 10 a.m., where thousands of people are expected to turn out to walk and raise money for the association.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis.