A CHESTER tour operator has already raised £150 for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association after taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge this week.
Following in the footsteps of famous faces such as the Beckhams, Steven Gerrard and even George W Bush, some 25 staff from Canal Street’s International Travel Connections (ITC) took up the icy fundraiser for the charity.
More than £2million has already been raised for the UK’s MND Association after the Ice Bucket Challenge, which started in the USA, went viral on the internet.
It sees people empty a bucket of iced water over their heads, donate to the charity and then nominate friends or family to do the same via social media.
ITC’s management has promised that the company will match the amount raised by their staff for the charity.
Manager Jonathan Bellamy, 30, of Chester, who organised ITC’s event, said: “I was thrilled that so many of our staff took part in the event, a number of whom have been touched by this fatal disease having seen family members and friends battle with MND.
“We now hope that our six challengers will continue to raise money for this fantastic cause and its USA equivalent, ALS, while donations continue to come in for our own.”
The filming of the challenge can be seen on ITC’s Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages.
In the video Jonathan nominates the company’s ‘on the road’ sales agents, their Bridge Street Row travel agent Deva Travel, as well as iconic luxury hotels Sandy Lane in Barbados, Curtain Bluff in Antigua, One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives and Columbia Beach Resort in Cyprus to be the next to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.
MND is a rapidly degenerative and sometimes fatal disease, which can affect any adult at any time and attacks the motor neurones that send messages from the brain to the muscles.
It often leaves people unable to walk, talk or feed themselves. The cause of the disease is unknown and there is no known cure.
Around 5,000 people in the UK have MND at any one time, with half of people with the disease dying within 14 months of diagnosis.
It kills five people every day in the UK.
Denise Davies, head of community fundraising at the MND Association, said: “Without the amazing support of people like those at ITC, the MND Association simply would not be able to provide its vital support services and fund research to find a cure.
“Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease.”
Please donate at www.mndassociation.org or by visiting their Just Giving page, texting ICED55 followed by an amount (such as £5) to 70070, or by calling 01604 611 860 referencing the 'Ice Bucket Challenge'.
See full story in the Chester Leader