President Obama was nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by 86-year-old Ethel Kennedy last week, but he decided to write a check for $100 to an ALS charity instead. While the first family was vacationing on Cape Cod, the widow of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s called upon the president to dump icy water over his head to show his support for the cause.
Kennedy took part in the challenge with several of her grandchildren at the family’s home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe reports that before Ethel dumped an ice filled bucket over her head, she nominated the president to do the same.
“Welcome to Cape Cod, President Obama. I nominate you.”
In a statement issued through spokesman Eric Schultz, Obama made it clear that although he chose not to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, he thanked Mrs. Kennedy for thinking of him and promised to make a donation to charity. According to CBS, his $100 donation will go to an undisclosed ALS charity.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) August 12, 2014
When word got out that President Obama would not be partaking in the chilly part of the challenge, Ethel Kennedy’s grandson, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, gave him a shout out on Twitter, tweeting, “My grandma is a tough lady to say no to, Mr. President…”
Obama is one of the few who have declined to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. Children, adults, and countless celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, and Martha Stewart, have been sharing videos of themselves dumping buckets of ice water over their heads.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was created to help raise awareness and money for ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The campaign went viral last month with videos popping up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram showing people getting doused with ice to support the cause.
For those who question whether the Ice Bucket Challenge is actually helping to raise money for this charity, the Boston Globe reports that there has been a “significant spike” in donations over the last two week due to the campaign going viral online.
The donations the organization received association-wide, which includes national and chapter revenue, totaled $4 million, compared to $1.1 million during the same time period last year… these donations have come from 71,100 new donors.
Anyone who is nominated to take the challenge must do so within 24 hours. Otherwise, like President Obama, they must donate at least $100 to charity.
Have you taken part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?