One week after Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president of Saint Viator High School, participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — and has drawn more than 1,000 viewers on YouTube — he extended the challenge to his students.
If each homeroom raised $100, its students could douse their teacher with ice water as part of the unprecedented national campaign to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Any money raised, Fr. Brost said, would be donated to a 30-year old Eric Von Schaumburg, a Schaumburg resident and son of an alumnus, diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease.
Within days, nearly every homeroom came up with the money, and some raised even more.
“One student in my homeroom handed me a $100 check, just to make sure I’d get doused,” quipped math teacher, Julie Reedy. “I don’t mind though. The kids loved it and it raises a lot of awareness about the disease.”
Others, like technology director, Ms. Peggy Gosch, said they had family members affected by the disease and this was one way to help other patients.
“My uncle had ALS,” Ms. Gosch said. “It’s a terrible disease.”
Teachers gathered in front of the school, all wearing a Saint Viator navy blue T-shirts and towels in hand. Students stood next to them, ready to do the honors.
“This doesn’t feel right — it’s my teacher,” said senior Jace Williams of South Elgin, as he prepared to let physics teacher, Jan Grana, have it.
Hundreds of students circled the teachers, with smart phones in hand, ready to document the historic event.
“This is great,” said sophomore Aria Bernardi, of Palatine.
Health teacher, Lisa Wilson stood front and center, as she served as spokesperson for the group in the video.
“The teachers decided that the students raised enough money to put an end to the challenge,” Ms. Wilson said, “and that we will be having more challenges for other charities throughout the year.”After the mass dousing, Fr. Brost said that the students had raised more than $2,800 and that the Clerics of St. Viator, the religious order that sponsors the school, would match it.
“It’s a large sum, and we did it quickly,” Fr. Brost said. “What a gift this will be to the Von Schaumburg family. It makes quite a statement about who we are.”