President Robert G. Frank and several other University of New Mexico administrators took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge head on to raise awareness and money for the ALS Association New Mexico Chapter.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a social media campaign in which participants get doused with bucket of ice water to raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a lethal neurodegenerative disorder often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
"ALS has had a direct impact on UNM when the disease hit dedicated Lobos like former assistant men’s tennis coach Loren Dils, and the late-soccer player Pat Grange, to name only a few. There are many more in the Lobo family who have battled or supported a loved one battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis" Frank said.
The event drew a crowd of people, including Dils who said he was pleased to see the University community make a contribution to the association.
“The Ice Bucket Challenge is pretty amazing, the way it’s gone viral and raised more awareness for ALS. I can’t believe how much money has been raised already. For UNM to be involved is so cool because I used to be a coach here and I am a Lobo forever” Dils said.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and UNM Head Soccer Coach Jeremy Fishbein both challenged President Frank. So he decided to use his turn to challenge the entire University community to donate.
Frank was joined by Provost Chaouki Abdallah, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Eliseo "Cheo" Torres, Dean of Students Tomás Aguirre, ASUNM President Rachel Williams, GPSA President Texanna Martin, Staff Council President Renee Delgado-Riley and the UNM Cheerleading Team, who all took the challenge.
The Chaparral Dance Team, Phi Delta Theta and even Lobo Louie and Lucy joined in to pour the ice. The national Phi Delta Theta organization encourages volunteers for the ALS Association because Lou Gehrig, the legendary baseball player who died of the disease, was a member of the fraternity.
Donations can be made online at ALS Association.