Dumping a bucket of freezing water on one’s head may not seem like the most enjoyable activity in which to partake. However, doing so to support the fight against ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, makes the chill more than worthwhile.
On Aug. 13, Nashville Predators staff, led by President and Chief Operating Officer Sean Henry, took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, helping to raise awareness of the disease. Not only did the staff take an icy approach, but the Nashville Predators Foundation will also donate $1,000 to the Tennessee Chapter of the ALS Association on behalf of the team. Head Coach Peter Laviolette and General Manager David Poile are among the members of the organization who have also made personal donations.
“Whenever you can unite other teams in the league like we are, and our staff, to create something bigger than our games and our logo, you want to do it,” Henry said. “This is taking the league by storm.”
Henry not only passed along the challenge to the fans of Smashville, but also to the Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes staff and fans, particularly Ducks Executive Vice President and COO Tim Ryan, as well as Coyotes Co-Owner, President, CEO and Alternate Governor Anthony LeBlanc.
“When we can engage our fan base to challenge another fan base, it’s even a little more special,” Henry said.
The premise is simple: once challenged, an individual has two choices; donate $100 to the ALS Association, or take the cold route by dumping a bucket of water, filled with ice, right onto the cranium. Of course, choosing both options is also a noble endeavor, with those trends catching on throughout Smashville and beyond.
Laviolette, Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton, Colin Wilson, Seth Jones and 2014 third round pick Justin Kirkland have already taken part in the challenge, and with dozens of staff members adding their names to the growing list of participants, it likely won’t be long before the rest of the Preds family gets their gold wet.
“This is what the Predators are all about,” Director of Hockey Operations Brian Poile said. “We don’t do anything halfway. When our staff does something, we all do it together.”
Henry also called out Robby Stanley, Kris Martel, Justin Bradford and Jeremy Gover of the Predators online media, who wasted little time in responding.
Gover, editor of Section303.com, described the feat as, “a tad cold,” but was more than pleased to partake.
“We felt it was the right thing to do, to all come together and do this, because it’s just important,” Gover said. “If this can be a start of (an advancement in awareness), I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
While the Preds staff may have done their part, the fight is far from over. Henry is hoping that bags of ice will continue to fly over the coming days and weeks, all in support of the cause.
“We need the rest of the fans of Smashville to follow through, because we are not going to be beaten by Arizona, we are not going to be beaten by the Ducks,” Henry said. “Anthony Leblanc and Tim Ryan will not beat us. That’s a guarantee.”