The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become a schoolwide event for William Chrisman High School.
After class on Friday, students brought a bucket or pail and collected freezing water from plastic barrels located near Chrisman’s auditorium entrance. Independence School District estimates that more than 400 William Chrisman students and staff, including Superintendent Dale Herl and other Central Office administrators, convened at the high school’s east side steps to douse themselves with the frigid water for the ALS Association.
In order for students to participate, each had to make a $3 donation for the national non-profit organization. William Chrisman school administrators said the school’s total donation amount to the ALS Association will be announced Monday.
Before the students simultaneously drenched themselves, WCHS Principal Mike Becker challenged the three other Independence high schools, Truman, Van Horn and the Independence Academy, to do what’s become a national sensation the past couple of weeks. Herl, dressed in a full suit, also challenged former Independence Superintendent Jim Hinson, who now is with the Shawnee Mission School District, plus Blue Springs Superintendent Jim Finley and North Kansas City School District Superintendent Todd White.
“It was definitely cold, but actually felt nice in this hot weather,” remarked a soaked Herl after several Gatorade coolers of icy water were dumped on him.
Any student was invited to participate in the challenge, said Bethany Goldammer, the William Chrisman student council member who coordinated the schoolwide ice bucket challenge. She said she was approached by former WCHS student Desiree Parker for the whole school to undertake the challenge. Parker was inspired by the story of Pete Frate, a former Boston College athlete who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012.
Word got out last week about the possibility of WCHS students doing the ice bucket challenge, however, students were officially invited to participate in the event on Wednesday.
Not only was the schoolwide event for a good cause, Goldammer added that has amped up school spirit throughout Chrisman.
It’s not yet known whether the remaining Independence high schools will accept Chrisman’s challenge. Less than 24 hours remain, according to the unoffical Ice Bucket Challenge rules.