Ice bucket challenge makes its way to KDPS

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Thousands across the U.S. are taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

They're dumping buckets of ice over their heads, all to raise money and awareness for ALS--amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

The daredevils have to complete the challenge in less than 24 hours, or donate to the cause, and then pass the challenge along to someone else.

Thursday, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety jumped on the bandwagon, and took themselves out of their comfort zone for a good cause.

In just 24 hours, the department pulled together a team of a dozen men and women ready to take on the chilly challenge.

"I've always been really excited about getting behind causes I am passionate about," said challenge organizer Detective Christina Ellis. "It's a lot more fun than opening up your checkbook and writing a check."

The department raised some money along the way, and along with the donations, found a little bravery, as they drenched themselves with the freezing water.

Since the start of the month, more than 70,000 people have accepted the challenge, which has made its way to West Michigan.

"We thought, hey, wouldn't it be neat if we did that?" said KDPS Chief Jeff Hadley of the challenge.

Money raised goes toward finding a cure for a debilitating disease.

"You end up not being able to walk, talk, or breathe, swallow," explained Robbie Banfill, with the ALSA Michigan Chapter, of the disease.

AlS is also 100 percent fatal.

"Love and hate my job, because you fall in love with these people, because you know the minute you meet them, you're going to lose them," Banfill said.

The ice bucket challenge has caught on like no one would have ever imagined.

"It's remarkable, I've been here for 6 years; I've never seen anything like it," Banfill said.

"If we can have a little fun, and show the community that we care, that's what it's all about," Chief Hadley added.

KDPS has now officially issued the challenge to the City of Portage, who has 24 hours to take the challenge or make a donation.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety raised about $200 Thursday for ALS.

In the last two weeks, $5 million nationwide has been raised to fight the disease.

The Meijer on Shaver Road donated 200 pounds of ice and buckets for the challenge.

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