Meridian, Miss. The Meridian High football team and cheerleaders took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday.
They did it in honor of Wally Hudnall, who played football for Meridian High and has been battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, for two years now.
To start things off, Meridian Mayor Percy Bland got soaked by the football team. Then the players and cheerleaders dunked each other. Finally, a small tractor dumped water all over the Head Coach Larry Weems and his staff.
Hudnall's wife thanked the team for its support.
"It means the absolute world to me," said Dianne Hudnall. "And on behalf of Wally and the whole family, I would like to thank all these guys, these coaches and everything, for honoring him. He loves Meridian High."
Coach Weems challenged other area football teams. Mayor Bland challenged the Meridian City Council.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 27, The ALS Association reported receiving $94.3 million in donations, compared to $2.7 million during the same time period last year, with the increase attributed to the attention brought to the issue by Ice Bucket Challenges around the country.