August 10, 2015
By Tara Jessup
New York, NY – On Saturday August 8, 2015 in Central Park, 1199SEIU United Health Care Workers East joined the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter in breaking the Guinness World Record to complete the largest simultaneous ice bucket challenge in the United States. The even was conducted to raise awareness and funding for medical research and direct patient care services for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
“Our home and healthcare workers are committed to achieving quality care for all in any way we can. 1199SEIU members care for those with ALS and we’ve seen the toll it takes on the patient and their families. With thousands of members in New York City, we knew could make a big impact by breaking the US record for the largest ice bucket challenge and motivating others to get involved in helping to find a cure to this devastating disease,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare East.
Since 495 people participated in the challenge, a record was set for the USA. The former record was 430 in St. Augustine, Florida on August 23, 2014. The current world record is 782 people, set by MyIdeal Integrated Marketing in Xiamen, China on September 6, 2014.
“The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter is incredibly grateful to the United Health Care Workers East Union 1199 for their dedication to improving the lives of those living with ALS, and their commitment to finding an effective treatment and cure. We are excited to be a part of this attempt to break the record– and raise awareness and much-needed funds at the same time. We believe in working towards this goal every August until we find a cure,” Said Dorine Gordon, President and CEO of the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge began in 2014 as an initiative to raise awareness for this disease, where people were challenged to dump an icy bucket of water over their heads within 24 hours of being nominated, or else have to forfeit a monetary donation to ALS research. Saturday's challenge kicked off a national movement to make the Ice Bucket Challenge an annual event to bring awareness to this issue.