Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt., and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vt., took the "ice bucket challenge" on the steps of the Vermont Statehouse Thursday, agreeing to be doused in chilly water for a good cause. The phenomenon, which has gone viral across the country, aims to raise money and awareness for the ultimately fatal Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS.
Shumlin and Scott, who were soaked by Montpelier Mayor John Hollar and Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon, each donated $100 to the ALS Association, a spokeswoman said. ALS robs patients of their muscle control, speech, and breathing by attacking nerve cells in the brain and spine.
Shumlin and Scott said their bipartisan approach to raising awareness was fitting, because ALS doesn't care about the political party of the families it impacts.
"It's an awful disease," Gov. Shumlin told New England Cable News. "If we can figure out a way to fight it, we're all doing a great thing for future folks who suffer from a really awful disease."
"I think we will try to send the message to our counterparts throughout the country," added Lt. Gov. Scott, describing his hope more state leaders will take the ice bucket challenge to raise funds and awareness. "I'll be doing my part, so hopefully they'll take the hint."
In addition to that open challenge to other state leaders, Shumlin and Scott urged all Vermonters to do what they can to support home-grown efforts to strengthen their communities.
Gov. Shumlin noted that he did not have a change of clothes with him, so after his ice bucket challenge, he told NECN he would likely still be drying out during his next meeting.
For more on ALS, visit the website of the ALS Association.