Mayors participate in ice bucket challenge

Appleton, De Pere, and Manitowoc mayors took part in the ice bucket challenge for ALS Aug. 16, 2014. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

APPLETON - Earlier this week Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt participated in the ice bucket challenge while standing on top of the Zippin Pippin.

Schmitt isn't the only one. For the past month celebrities, athletes, politicians and others have accepted the challenge.

The goal is to raise awareness and money in the fight against ALS. It's also known as Lou Gehrig's disease which causes a person to lose control of their muscles.

Typically you either accept the challenge and douse yourself with a bucket of ice water, or pay to support the cause.

Schmitt nominated the mayors of Appleton, De Pere, and Manitowoc to join in on the fun.

"It's kind of a shock but it's cold, very cold," said Mike Walsh, mayor of De Pere.

Despite a few chills, all three mayors participated in the event on Saturday.

"Three of my high school classmates have died from this and somebody I worked closely with for a number of years is currently battling down in Texas so it makes you stop and understand that life is really precious," said Tim Hanna, mayor of Appleton.

"It's certainly worthwhile to do it," Walsh said.

"As mayors, we're leaders of communities. People look to us, people know us so when we're going out doing this for this cause it shows that we care," said Justin Nickels mayor of Manitowoc.

The ALS chapter of Wisconsin is in Milwaukee County and the executive director says every dollar counts.

"ALS has been an underfunded and ignored disease for the last 75 years and for us to be on the tips of everybody's tongues is just absolutely amazing," Melanie Roach-Bekos, executive director of ALSA Wisconsin.

"My father is living with ALS," said Kari Moon.

Moon says she's grateful for all of the support.

"Bringing awareness is what is going to change the future of ALS patients," Moon said.

Moon is one of thousands of people across the country hoping doctors will one day find a cure for the disease.

The ice bucket challenge has raised $15,000 in Wisconsin and more than $10 million across the country.