BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - On Friday, Sept. 19, Thomas P.  Hughes Elementary School came together in true community fashion to help others and have fun at the same time. Staff members in grades two through five, accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, to raise awareness and funds for ALS research. 

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been huge this summer, and the Thomas P. Hughes Elementary School wanted to do their part to support the challenge, which started as a simple way to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal neurodegenerative disease.

Principal Jessica Nardi sent a letter home with the students asking parents, that wanted to participate, to donate in the name of their favorite teacher. The teachers that accrued the most donations would get doused with the largest of ice buckets. The lucky favorites were Catherine Pearsall and Ellen Masters-Massa. This call to action has resulted in more than $1,700 raised for ALS.

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Thomas P. Hughes Elementary School has a personal connection to ALS. The husband of teacher Ellen Masters-Massa, Tom Masters, passed away from this disease.  Nardi said they decided to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge not only because ALS is a good cause, and many of her students have participated on their own, but also to honor Tom. The challenge also showed the students that school can be a pretty fun place to be.

Nardi has forwarded the challenge to Principal Jon Morisseau and Mountain Park School and Principal Patty Gasparini and Woodruff School.