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Local groups, businesses joining in on 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

Local groups, businesses joining 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

ONTELAUNEE TWP., Pa. - Joining in on the fast-growing trend, businesses and groups across Berks County are drenching themselves as part of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" movement for ALS awareness.

"I'm glad it's taking off. More people should be involved in more good causes, and this is a good cause," said Patty Waibel, of V & M Towing, who took part in the challenge Tuesday morning.

But rather than using the standard bucket, Waibel was doused in ice and water from one of the company's skid-steer loaders.

"I thought I was getting a bucket-bucket of water, not a skid-steer-bucket of water, but these guys ran with it!" said Waibel, who was nominated to complete the challenge by a friend on Facebook.

According to the ALS Association, more than $20 million has been raised since the ice bucket challenge began this summer, prompted as an effort to raise both funds and awareness.

Both efforts have proved successful in the case of Waibel, who not only donated money following her nomination, but spent time researching the progressive neurodegenerative disease.

"I wasn't incredibly familiar with it, so I hope this helps. I hope this brings some money to research and you know, some help for these families," said Waibel.

Others groups across the county will soon complete the challenge, too.

Members of the Volunteer Fireman's Beneficial Association in West Reading filled up their buckets and poured the ice water over their heads during during the 5:30 Berks Edition on 69 News.

"It's a good cause to raise awareness to those that are challenged by different disabilities," said Casey Coates, a bartender at the VFBA.

Coates challenged all VFBA employees and members to complete the challenge, while donating funds. As it stands now, the VFBA is donating $500 to the ALS Association.

Coates, who suffers from MS, said it's important to raise awareness for diseases that "people don't understand."

"We need to raise awareness for the community, for the world. Everybody needs to understand that sometimes people have problems," said Coates.

Coates said she is planning to nominate the West Reading Fire Company to complete the challenge next and keep the momentum going.

Other businesses across Berks County are planning to complete the challenge, including Rita's Italian Ice in Boyertown.

Workers there said the entire staff will take part at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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