The Florida governor’s race has now become part of the #IceBucketChallenge phenomenon.
Not one to back away from a challenge, especially a good-natured one, Charlie Crist has become the latest personality to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – calling out Gov. Rick Scott to do the same.
The Challenge is a viral social media sensation where celebrities, political elites and thousands of ordinary folks are dousing themselves with buckets of ice water to raise awareness – and lots of cash — for research into ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“ALS is a horrible disease,” Crist said. “I’m glad to help bring awareness to it in any way I can.”
As of Saturday, the ALS association received 1.2 million new donors and $62.5 million in donations. In contrast, the foundation received only $2.4 million during the same time last year (July 29 to August 23).
Proceeds go to research into the progressive neurodegenerative syndrome ALS, which causes gradual deterioration of the nervous system.
Challenged by former state Sen. Dan Gelber and his son Max, as well as Broward County Democratic state Sen. Oscar Braynon and fellow gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich, Crist — wearing a pink polo and jeans — good-naturedly accepted the challenge, with a little assistance from campaign manager Omar Khan.
To keep the challenge going, the former Republican governor then challenged three others — Scott, Kahn and Fort Lauderdale Democratic state Sen. Chris Smith.
“On a hot summer day in Florida,” he added. “It’ll cool you right off!”
With 100 percent mortality rate and no known cure, Lou Gehrig’s disease typically attacks people between the ages of 40 and 70, and currently affects as many as 30,000 Americans. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one drug to treat ALS, which only extends survival by two to three months.