Who Dat Nation push to set record ice bucket challenge - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Who Dat Nation push to set record ice bucket challenge

It's a push to raise awareness, that's clearly showed no signs of cooling down. At the New Orleans Saints' 5K Kickoff Run, around two thousand fans were asked to take up the ice bucket challenge by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Saints, and Steven Gleason himself. 

"Thanks New Orleans for showing up," said Gleason, the former Saint's player who has become a figurehead for the ALS cause. "Thanks for dumping cold water on you as a show of support."

It's an attempt to set a world record and shine more light on ALS, and we all know - when the Who Dat nation is called, they answer.

"That was neat," said Melissa and Morton Granier, who both participated. "It's better than watching one by one on Facebook. Definitely gave it a whole new meaning."

"It's kind of an adrenaline rush," said Ashley Landry who also took part. "It's awesome being part of the city, part of the people."

The movement has picked up steam over the last few months, with participants like quarterback Drew Brees, Governor Bobby Jindal, and local leaders.

"It is just one of the most fantastic things," said New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Mitch McConnel. "When the mayor asked everybody to step up and be challenged - you saw the turnout."

"We wanted to break the world record," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. The city wanted to break a record set in New York last week, 1500 people took the challenge in Times Square. 

Nationally, the ALS association says the challenge helped raised more than 109 million dollars in the past month. And locally, it's helped raise more awareness than money can buy.

"I'm tremendously excited about people now knowing more about ALS because it's so under funded," said Paul Varisco, the Executive Director of Team Gleason.  "We call it the orphan disease, not many people know about it."

And that change is something fans hope to change as they accept the challenge.

"We have the best city. We have the best team, the best fan base," said Landry. "It doesn't matter if you're from here or not - you come down here, you can just feel it. It's amazing energy."
 

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