Germantown — When Lisa Roeglin posted a video of her 5-year-old son Grady challenging the Germantown Police Department to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Ice Bucket Challenge, she wasn't sure what would happen.
The result exceeded her expectations tenfold.
Not only did the police department participate, but they made an event out of it, involving the Germantown Fire Department and more than a dozen spectators who turned out regardless of rain on the afternoon of Aug. 21.
Shortly after 10 police officers were doused with buckets of ice water, the fire department soaked them again with ice cold water from the fire truck.
The 10 members of the fire department followed suit, allowing the police officers to do the same to them, as they had also been nominated by Grady, as well as the Slinger and Richfield fire departments.
In doing so, both groups followed the rules of the social media phenomenon known as the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which as of Aug. 21 raised $41.8 million for ALS research.
The challenge charged participants to participate and donate to the ALS Association within 24 hours of receiving their nomination. In addition to their participation in the challenge, members of the police department made private donations to the cause.
"Five-year-old Grady Roeglin's mother posted a video on the police department's Facebook page challenging the police and fire departments," said Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell. "How can we say no to that? We always try to look for ways to support the community and other important causes."
In the nomination video, Lisa explained she was nominated by a friend of hers, Karrie Schneider, whose mom passed away from ALS in 2000.
"First, her mom lost feeling in her hands, and it really was all downhill from there," Lisa said. "It's terrible to think about losing a loved one like that."
In turn, she nominated her son Grady (among three others), who nominated the Germantown and West Bend police departments; Germantown Fire Department; and his uncle Josh.
With the help of his mom, Grady explains in the video that "people need money ... because they're sick and can't walk" so they need funding to figure out why.
"People are commenting on how this is an annoying social media trend, but they don't get it," Lisa said. "What is really incredible is how many people are getting behind such a worthy and deserving cause. Anything we can do, even if it's donating a dollar, can make a difference."
The outpouring of support for ALS at a local level hit a high on the police department's Facebook page before and after they completed the challenge.
"ALS is a dreadful disease, and with this ice bucket challenge, people are learning more about ALS; donating funds to a worthy cause; having fun getting cold and wet; and challenging others to do the same," said Germantown resident Barbara Schwind, who brought her daughters to watch the fun unfold. "The bottom line is I think Germantown is an awesome community ... the police department, fire department and local businesses are always there to lend a hand."
To pay it forward, the police department nominated the varsity football team at Germantown High School, and the Germantown Fire Department nominated the fire departments of Thiensville and Menomonee Falls, as well as Flight for Life Waukesha.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
WHY: To raise money for research on ALS
HOW: Donate to ALS at www.alsa.org
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