Clinton Co. clerk to take ice-bucket challenge

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Posted: Friday, August 15, 2014 3:28 am

PLATTSBURGH — The Ice-Bucket Challenge phenomenon that is sweeping the nation will make a splash in Plattsburgh today.

Clinton County Clerk John Zurlo Sr. and his staff will take the challenge today at 5 p.m. outside Clinton County Government Center off Court Street.

"I was challenged, and the rest of my staff offered to do it with me," Zurlo explained.

"It's for a good cause, and it helps raise awareness of this terrible disease, so we are happy to participate."

The challenge, which has become enormously popular on social media over the past month, involves people calling on friends, relatives, colleagues and even rivals to dump a bucket of ice-water over their heads on camera.

If the challenged person does not accept the icy bath within 24 hours of the summons being issued, they are supposed to donate $100 to the ALS Association.

In most cases, people who take the challenge and get wet still make a donation.

Those who accept it then mete out challenges of their own to others, and the process continues.

HEATER FULL BLAST

The trick appears to be highly successful; the ALS Association has reportedly raised more than $4 million in the past month or so.

The ALS Association spearheads research that searches for a cure for amytrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The former New York Yankee great died from it in 1941.

While wildly successful, the Ice-Bucket Challenge has also generated some controversy, as there have been complaints that Facebook is constantly filled with challenge posts.

Some even have argued that the challenge is a form of bullying in that it demands people to do something uncomfortable to themselves and shames them into donating.

Zurlo, who said he has lost family members to the disease, said he has no problem raising awareness and money for research in this fashion.

"This disease affects a lot of people and their families, and it is something that I want to support," he said.

He said he is making some special preparations for his frigid shower.

"I'm going to have the car running and the heater on full blast, and I am going to cover the seats in plastic so I can get in and drive home in a nice warm car," he said.

As for who he is going to challenge, Zurlo would not say, but he did give a hint.

"It could be another department in the Government Center."

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @jlotemplio