Monday, August 25, 2014

Ferguson Buick GMC Supports ALS Awareness and the Ice Bucket Challenge

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), widely known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is an unyielding disease that has no cure. According to the ALS Association's website, the disease, "affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death" [1].

There has been an exponential growth in ALS awareness across the nation over the recent month thanks to a viral internet phenomenon called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has spread like wild fire, in a very short amount of time, generating millions of dollars. Everybody from celebrities, including Kevin Durant and Justin Timberlake, to national public figures, such as George W. Bush, have accepted the challenge of dumping frigid ice cold buckets of water over their head and making a donation to the ALS Association.

The ALS Association, funded in 1985, is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease on "every front." According to the ALS Association's website the phenomenon has raised $70.2 million in donations, as of August 24th [2].

In a recent PBS interview the ALS Association's CEO, Barbara Newhouse, explained how the generous funds will be utilized to help fight against the disease, "First of all, the mission of the ALS Association is three-pronged. So, research is a part of our mission. Care service is a part of our mission for quality of life while people are living with ALS, and then advocacy" [3]. Lou Gehrig's disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans each year. It has affect people in our community, and it has affected people in our own families.

Jim Crews has been part of the Ferguson family since 2004. He oversees our GM Service department as our Buick GMC Service Director. Jim lost his brother, Bob, to Lou Gehrig's disease in 1999.

Ferguson Buick GMC fully supports the ALS Association and the Ice Bucket Challenge. Some skeptics of the ice bucket challenge say that it doesn’t help the cause, because people only dump buckets over themselves and never donate. However, that clearly is not the case when the ALS Association states the challenge has raised over $70 million in donations. We believe that any awareness to this heart-breaking disease is a positive. Newhouse also stated, "I believe with all my heart that what makes the difference is, this started so organically, because it started with families and people with ALS, and it took off from there" [3]. Many of our Ferguson employees have participated in the challenge and donated their own money to the cause.

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