Ice, ice Chatham

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Chatham and area residents prepare to perform the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Sunday in Tecumseh Park.
Chatham and area residents prepare to perform the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Sunday in Tecumseh Park.

Trevor Legary, Danny Wright and Tyler Hatton wrote the script for David versus Goliath, with Chatham playing David and ALS acting as Goliath Sunday.

The little guy may not have defeated the giant, but he did help fuel the battle against the cruel antagonist.

ALS – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – is a deadly disease with no known cure. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge soared through social media like wildfire in recent weeks, with people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads and challenging three of their friends.

Millions have been raised around the globe with the challenge, but Legary thought too often people were just raising awareness and not giving to the cause. He wanted to make a difference and involved a community.

Wright said the concept was developed and sent out on Facebook to have folks from around Chatham show up at Tecumseh Park Sunday and take part in a large-scale challenge.

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Mayor Randy Hope talks with 99.1’s Jay Smith before sitting down to be dunked in ice water Sunday.

They raised an estimated $2,500 Sunday, with a large chunk — $750 – coming in an auction to dunk Mayor Randy Hope in a tank filled with ice water.

The crowning moment Sunday, however, was when more than 100 people did the bucket dump en masse in front of the band shell.

Wright said it wouldn’t have been possible without Hatton coming on board to help get the permits to hold the event and insurance to cover it.

But getting David to show up was a team effort.

“It was just a couple of guys with an idea,” he said.

Hope thought it went much further.

“Chatham-Kent is a great community that supports and helps others. It was great to see so many people involved,” he said. “I was thrilled to be part of it.”

Hope challenged the mayors of Windsor, London and Niagara Falls to do the challenge.

With that, David slung his first stone.

Danny Wright, left, helps Mayor Randy Hope out of the dunk tank.
Danny Wright, left, helps Mayor Randy Hope out of the dunk tank.

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