ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Makes its Way to Ripleys Believe it or Not St Augustine

The crew at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in St. Augustine needed at least 250 people to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge to set a world record.

They ended up with a whopping 430!

Photo Credit: Gary Leville St. Augustine Record Correspondent 

Kim Kiff, manager at Ripley’s, said the museum got the challenge and wanted to respond in a way that got the community involved. The Ice Bucket Challenge funds research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The challenge involves people getting buckets of ice water dumped on them, posting video online and challenging others to do the same in an effort to raise ALS awareness, according to the ALS Association. People can accept the challenge, make a donation to an ALS charity or do both.

By Saturday afternoon, about $20,000 had been pledged or raised.

While it was a new record, Guinness still sets a minimum amount of people needed to participate, which is why at least 250 people were needed.

People gathered in the museum parking lot Saturday, bringing buckets and towels, and lined up to be counted before the big moment. Among them were people whose lives had been touched by ALS.

Each person got a bucket with more than 2 pounds of ice and more than a gallon of water. Ripley’s ordered more than 2,000 pounds of ice for the day.

In the crowd were Alecia and Mark Bailey of The Bailey Group, who offered to match donations for the day of up to $10,000. People were encouraged to donate $5.

And by that afternoon, the event had reached the $10,000 mark needed for the full match.

Alecia Bailey’s first husband died of ALS, and he developed a charity called Project 2-4-20 after he was diagnosed with the disease — his goal was to live until that date, when he would have been 50 years old. He didn’t make it to his 39th birthday.

The goal of the charity is to raise $2,042,020 by 2020 to find a cure for ALS.

ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disease that causes a degeneration of motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and eventually causes muscles to waste away, according to the website for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Many believe that a cure is not far away and Saturday gave many a day of hope thanks to the Ripley's crew and hundreds of local and visiting participants.