The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge continues to make a splash across the country, including at the Gwynedd Estates retirement community.
Seniors at the retirement center in Lower Gwynedd and campers from the local Kindercare in Lansdale joined forces and had some fun while raising money and awareness for the disease.
Dressed in orange T-shirts, the campers sat in a row in front of residents, underneath the facility's portico, as they prepared to get soaked. Off to the side, a basket was set up to donations, and was already halfway filled with bills.
"The residents and staff at Gwynedd Estates retirement community, and the little campers from Kindercare summer camp in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, hereby accept the ice bucket challenge," proclaimed a shower cap-wearing Heather Hartley-Cuffie, resident services director at Gwynedd Estates. "We are completing the challenge and also donating to the ALS Association. We are now challenging and nominating Fort Washington Estates in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, to complete the challenge within 24 hours!"
Then it was a mixture of screams, squeals and laughter as residents began to pour the ice-water-filled buckets over the campers heads. A few residents even agreed to join in on the fun and get wet themselves, all for a good cause.
"What ended up happening is I first heard about it through my volunteer for the summer, and her name is Jessica," Hartley-Cuffie said. "I saw her video on Instagram, and from there I received the challenge from Lima Estates, which is another ACTS Retirement Life Community in Media, Pennsylvania. I talked it over with my son and we thought it would be great for the inter-generational program. We asked the Kindercare summer camps kids to come out and they wanted to participate and they understood the cause and how important it was to raise awareness about ALS. So since they have no jobs and can't make monetary donations, they wanted to show their support through what was going on in the media."
ALS Greater Philadelphia annual giving manager Donna Cleary was on hand for the event and was so thrilled to see the support of the two groups.
"I just want to thank you so much for doing this," she told the crowd. "You don't know how helpful this is to people who have ALS. This has been great for awareness because no one knows about this disease and this ice bucket challenge has been phenomenal. We are so excited to welcome you, our neighbors, in doing it."
Afterwards, Kindercare camper Michai Michael Cuffie said he loved getting wet.
"It was awesome," he said. "I got a bunch of water dumped on my head."
81-year-old Lore Ereuer was still drying off after having water dumped on her twice but had a smile on her face.
"I think it was great fun," she said. "I walked down the hall knocking on the doors (of residents) saying, 'You have to come.' … and it was fun that we had the children, that always lightens up the place."