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WB accepts ALS ice bucket challenge from Jackson Hole

Whistler Blackcomb Foundation to match employee donations up to $1,000

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This weekend Whistler Blackcomb jumped on the ice bucket challenge bandwagon in a big way.

Mike Varrin, general manager of bars for Whistler Blackcomb, and about 20 Whistler Blackcomb staff were sprayed by cold water from a Whistler Fire Rescue Service hose, in support of the campaign to raise money to fight the debilitating neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( or ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease).

"It was really fun to see how fast it came together," Varrin said. Blackcomb staff got the ball rolling around 11 a.m. Friday (Aug. 22) after being challenged by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Varrin and his co-workers were drenched by a few minutes past 3 p.m.

"At the end of the day it is about creating awareness and raising money," Varrin said.

Varrin said the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation will match employee donations to the ALS Association up to $1,000.

While many people shriek or run away when the cold water begins to fall, Varrin is seen in the video calmly raising his face to the deluge.

"Standing and taking a firehose of water in the face for 20 seconds is nothing compared to what [ALS sufferers] have to go through," Varrin said, explaining what he was thinking about during the challenge.

Varrin nominated employees at the resorts in the Squaw Valley and The Lake Louise Ski Resort/Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort as well as Tourism Whistler to next take up the challenge.

The summer campaign has been a huge boon for the not-for-profit ALS Association. According to the association's website, $79.7 million in donations has been received to date, compared to $2.5 million during the same period last year (July 29 to August 25).

For more info on ALS and how to take up the challenge go to www.alsa.org.

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