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Police chief accepts icy challenge
police chief pic
The highest bidder in donations to the ALS Association will be able to dump ice water on Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson on Sept. 19. - photo by Journal file photo

Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson won’t mind if people tell him he’s all wet, as long as it is after Sept. 19.

Jackson is the latest individual to pick up the gauntlet of the ice bucket challenge — the fundraising campaign for the ALS Association that has gained international momentum.

The premise behind the ice bucket challenge is that an individual is challenged to either donate to the ALS Association or dump a bucket of ice water over their head within 24 hours. In most cases, participants have chosen to do both and have posted their actions on various social media sites, helping spread the challenge.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is a progressive generative disease with no known cure.

“ALS is such a devastating disease,” said Jackson. “When the challenge came up it was easy for me to say yes.   My hopes are by accepting this challenge we can raise some money for ALS and also increase awareness of the disease."

Jackson was nominated for the challenge from the department’s Public Information Officer Mayra Lewis.

Jackson is adding his own entreaty to the challenge. He would like the community to donate funds as well and the individual with the highest donation will get the honor of dumping the chilly water on the chief.

“I am not sure who the highest bidder will be, but I can tell you when I told my wife about it the look in her eyes told me I might be in trouble,” Jackson said.

The ice bucket challenge is the brainchild of 29-year-old Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012.  The idea was to spread awareness and raise funds for ALS, Frates also hoped it would catch the eye of philanthropist Bill Gates. His idea worked and then some. This summer the ALS Association has received an estimated $100 million in donations, compared to $2.8 million last year.

The ALS Association uses 79 percent of their budget for services and programs, including 28 percent for research. The ALS Association provides individuals and families coping with the diseases the needed resources and care services, as well as advocating for public policies and research that could one day lead to a cure.

Jackson is mindful of California’s ongoing drought and doesn’t plan on wasting any water in his challenge. The challenge will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 19 at the pool at Columbia Park. The water will be pulled from the pool and have ice added and then dumped on Jackson as he stands in the pool.

Anyone interested in making a donation and having a chance at drenching the chief, can find donation boxes inside the Public Safety Facility at 244 N. Broadway in the Records Department. The donation boxes will be available up to 3 p.m. Sept. 12.