By Frank Lewis
At Monday’s Portsmouth City Council Meeting, Second Ward Councilman Rich Saddler made a suggestion for all of city council, City Manager Derek Allen, City Clerk Diana Ratliff, City Auditor Trent Williams, City Solicitor John Haas and both Municipal Court Judges Steve Mowery and Russ Kegley, to support Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by doing the “Ice Bucket Challenge” on the front steps of the Municipal Building Thursday at 6 p.m.
“I would like to ask Manager Derek to inform all of the department heads to support this challenge and any other city employee that would like to join us and help with this cause,” Saddler said. “I feel that a $20 donation from each of us would be appropriate and wouldn’t break anybody’s bank or whatever you feel comfortable donating would be fine as well.”
It was also suggested that the Fire Department bring the aerial ladder truck to either dump water on us all or just give us all a good hosing down. That part of the challenge caught the attention of Mowery who responded - “OK, though the firemen hosing us down makes me very nervous.”
For Third Ward Councilman Kevin E. Johnson, his participation will be taking care of two challenges at one time. Johnson was also challenged by Portsmouth City Health Commissioner Chris Smith.
“I look forward to it. It’s a worthy cause and I’m excited about it,” Johnson said. “I’m also excited to see our other local leaders get all wet … no pun intended.”
Saddler said the challenge doesn’t end with city employees, but extends from the city to several other entities, such as the village of New Boston, the village of Waverly in Pike County, the city of Ironton in Lawrence County, the village of West Union in Adams County and across the river to the city’s neighbors to the south, the village of South Shore, Kentucky.
“I feel this would be a great opportunity to show our support to the ALS sufferers within our city and surrounding areas,” Saddler said.
Since the Ice Bucket Challenge began, $94.3 million has been raised. Information on the challenge is available at www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.