Mayor Berry participates in ice bucket challenge

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The viral trend that’s taken over Twitter feeds and Facebook walls finally made it to Albuquerque city hall on Thursday.

Mayor R.J. Berry accepted the ice bucket challenge from the Public Academy of Performing Arts and others and got drenched right in the middle of Civic Plaza.

“Woo man!” Berry said as willing volunteers dumped bucket after bucket on his head. “That is cold!”

As is the custom, Berry challenged UNM president Bob Frank as well as Albuquerque media bigwigs after the challenge.

Berry didn’t just take the plunge, the mayor’s office also paid out $300 to help fight ALS.

The mayor is latest in a line of celebrities, athletes and politicians who’ve taken the challenge in the last three weeks.

“Since July 29th we’ve seen $41.9 million coming in through contributions across the country,” said Kerrie Copelin, executive director of New Mexico’s ALS Association chapter.

But Copelin says fundraising isn’t the only benefit the cause has seen.

“The phones have been ringing a lot more, we’ve gotten some new volunteers to the organization,” Copelin said. “I think it’s started a conversation for people that hasn’t existed since 1939 when Lou Gehrig gave his luckiest man alive speech.”

That conversation can be tough to have given how debilitating and scary ALS is as a disease.

“Individuals living with it slowly lose their independence,” Copelin said. “Their ability to walk, any hand dexterity, chew, swallow.”

If you want to donate to the ALS Association or find out more information, you can click here.

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