EDISON, NJ - Wearing a golf shirt and slacks, Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey yesterday accepted the first of two “Ice Bucket Challenges” that he has received to help raise public awareness about ALS, a degenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Before being soaked, Mayor Lankey challenged his boss, Raymond Fredericks, the president and chief executive officer at JFK Medical Center in Edison; Council President Robert Karabinchak and Middlesex County Freeholder Charles Tomaro to also take the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Following the challenge, a trio of Edison police officers dumped three buckets of icy water over Lankey at the main entrance to Edison Police Headquarters. Manning those buckets were Police Chief Thomas Bryolice Captain Andy Fresco and Patrolman Joe Chonka.
Lankey has so far received two separate challenges to join the fight against ALS from Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac and state Sen. Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex).
“I’m not thrilled about being drenched with three buckets of icy water, but I sincerely believe that we must provide more funding for scientific research to offer relief for thousands of people afflicted with ALS,” Lankey said. “It would be wonderful if we could conquer this debilitating disease in our lifetime.”
To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $22.9 million for the ALS Association, which is turning a national spotlight on the disease.
The event also underscored renewed cooperation between the Lankey Administration and its police unions. In addition to Bryan, Fresco is state delegate for the Edison Superior Officers Association and Chonka is the finance secretary for Edison PBA Local 75.
Along with raising awareness about ALS, Lankey has pledged to make personal donation to help fight ALS and Lankey will make a separate contribution to ALS research in early September when he will again face the “Ice Bucket Challenge” at Middlesex County College.
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