With people around the world taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, one member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community called out SRPMIC Chief of Police Patrick Melvin to take the challenge a few weeks ago.
In the spirit of charity and fun, Melvin accepted the challenge from Community member Teresa Hill by plunging into an ice-filled swimming pool for the 100 Club of Arizona.
On August 20 at Salt River Fields, a handful of Salt River police officers and SRPMIC government employees gathered at the facility to show support. Initially they were there to watch Melvin jump into four feet of ice-cold water. But, to their surprise, the chief called upon several fellow colleagues to join him: Fire Chief David Bunce, Director of Corrections Bill Daly, and Assistant Chief of Police Karl Auerbach.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a charitable fundraising campaign currently sweeping across the United States and the world. It is designed to bring awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them. Patients in the latter stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases their minds remain sharp and alert.
Many people across the country, from celebrities and politicians to those less famous, have been taking the Ice Bucket Challenge and posting their videos online. They then take the opportunity to call out more people to accept the challenge. According to the ALS Association (www.alsa.org), as of Monday, August 25, donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge had reached $79.7 million.
Police officers throughout the Valley have been showing their support by taking the challenge and dumping big buckets of freezing water on themselves. Chief Melvin wanted to show his department’s support by splashing into the ice-filled pool in full uniform.
Melvin thanked everyone who witnessed his plunge, including Hill.
“I just emailed him because I was watching all the Ice Bucket Challenges that other police departments were doing on the news, and asked him to do one for the Community,” said Hill. “He asked me to look it up and provide the information about the cause, and he accepted. I think it’s awesome we got someone from Salt River to do it.”
The 100 Club of Arizona is a charitable organization dedicated to standing behind the men and women who stand behind the badge. For more than 40 years, the 100 Club has provided assistance to statewide public safety agencies, officers, firefighters, paramedics and their families.