Canadian Tire takes part in ice bucket challenge for ALS

 

Jeff Levy, owner of the Canadian Tire on Sandwich Street South, takes part in the ice bucket challenge for ALS in front of his store on Aug. 19. Levy nominated every Canadian Tire location in Windsor and Essex County to participate in the challenge. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

Jeff Levy, owner of the Canadian Tire on Sandwich Street South, takes part in the ice bucket challenge for ALS in front of his store on Aug. 19. Levy nominated every Canadian Tire location in Windsor and Essex County to participate in the challenge. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

Employees of the Canadian Tire on Sandwich Street South take part in the ice bucket challenge for ALS in front of their store on Aug. 19. The challenge was done in support of employee Mackenzie Maden, whose father Willy was diagnosed with ALS around two years ago. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

Employees of the Canadian Tire on Sandwich Street South take part in the ice bucket challenge for ALS in front of their store on Aug. 19. The challenge was done in support of employee Mackenzie Maden, whose father Willy was diagnosed with ALS around two years ago. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

By Adam D’Andrea

 

When Mackenzie Maden voluntarily dumped a bucket of freezing cold water on herself last Tuesday night, she said it felt wonderful.

Around 25 local Canadian Tire employees gathered in front of the location on Sandwich Street South on Aug. 19 to participate in the ice bucket challenge for ALS. The challenge was largely done in support of Maden, a Canadian Tire employee whose father Willy was diagnosed with the disease just over two years ago.

“I didn’t even know what the disease was when my dad got it and I don’t think a lot of people even know what ALS is because it’s so rare,” said Maden, 23. “So the fact that pretty much everyone in the world is doing this ice bucket challenge to raise awareness and donate money, it’s amazing.”

Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS currently affects approximately 2,500-3000 Canadians according to the ALS Society of Canada. The disease causes nerve cells to die and paralyzes voluntary muscles.

Canadian Tire office manager Nancy Ferguson said she was inspired to organize an employee ice bucket challenge after seeing a video of Maden and her family doing the challenge online.

“I wanted to show some kind of support for her,” said Ferguson. “So she really didn’t challenge us, but we thought it would be a good idea to go out and challenge all Canadian Tire stores and that’ll continue spreading the word and raising awareness.”

Since its conception, the ice bucket challenge has become a viral video sensation. Countless celebrities and high-profile individuals have posted videos of themselves doing the challenge, including Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Britney Spears, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Oprah Winfrey and many more. The challenge has helped raise nearly $2.4 million for the ALS Society of Canada and $53.3 million for the ALS Association in the United States.

“It’s so much fun to bring such awareness to such an amazing cause that really doesn’t get a lot of the spotlight,” said Maden. “It’s really not that well known, so it’s really, really great.”

Ferguson said Canadian Tire will be raising and donating money to the Windsor-Essex County ALS Society’s 2014 ALS Windsor Walk, which takes place Sept. 14 at Sandpoint Park. For more information, visit www.alswindsor.ca. In addition to donating through that website, people can also donate to the ALS Society of Windsor-Essex County by mail at 1426 Front Rd S. Amherstburg, N9V 2M6.

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