The ceremony was simple and dignified. A local dignitary offered brief comments.

Then people poured ice water over him.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which has grown popular across the country in recent weeks, came to Independence Friday as four people from the Independence Police Department took part. It’s to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“All of us here from the department are here to support the research of this fatal disease,” said Police Chief Tom Dailey.

Then he got soaked and cold, along with Major Gordon Abraham, Major Terry Storey and Detective Mike Hosack.

Across the country, celebrities have been taking the challenge and calling out others to do the same. The Missouri Mavericks President Brent Thiessen and head coach Rich Matvichuk also took a frigid bath.

It’s working. The ALS Association – go to to donate – says donations were $4 million from July 29 through Aug. 12, compared with $1.12 million in the same period last year.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that robs the brain of the ability to control muscle movement. It can lead to total paralysis. Royals great and Hall of Famer George Brett has worked on behalf of ALS research for decades.

Part of the event is challenging someone else to step up and either donate or endure of bucket of ice water. Many do both. Dailey challenged three people: acting Fire Chief John Greene, Deputy Chief Bobby Keuhl of the Kansas CIty Police Department and David Gershon, vice president of the U.S. Tape Company.

Dailey said the ice water was shocking.

“It’s worth it to raise awareness,” he said.