The day after winning the primary election, Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley got cold and wet in support of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Foley and former competitor State Sen. John McKinney, who conceded the election Tuesday night, appeared together at Foley’s campaign office in Trumbull Wednesday morning in a display of party unity. McKinney said in his concession speech his efforts now will be focused on helping elect Foley in the November general election.
After addressing the media, McKinney poured ice water over Foley’s head as part of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. McKinney completed the challenge last night and nominated Foley to do the same. Both politicians said they will also donate $100 to the ALS Association.
The challenge, which began with 29-year-old ALS patient Pete Frates, has taken social media by storm. The cameras are rolling as participants douse themselves with icy water, then challenge their friends and family members. Anyone who opts out of the icy shower is asked to donate.
NBC Connecticut team members such as Gerry Brooks, Shirley Chan, Bob Maxon, Kevin Nathan, Amy Parmenter and Abbey Niezgoda have taken the icy plunge.
Donations have been pouring in. Fundraising has spiked to $1.35 million over the past couple weeks, compared with just $22,000 at the same time last year, a spokesperson for the ALS Association told NBC News earlier this week.
Locally, the Association has raised $20,000 more than last year, according to Jacky Denicola, events coordinator for the Connecticut chapter of the ALS Association.