Buckets of water get dumped on Kean President Dawood Farahi
By Roman Gerus
President Dawood Farahi was given a cold shoulder, head, knees and toes when he accepted, what is so far, N.J.’s largest “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Farahi was showered with praise and five gallons of ice water, along with dozens of other faculty, staff and students for promoting awareness of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” and raised over $40,000 for the ALS Association of the Greater New York Chapter.
“I think it’s terrific. It’s a good cause and I’m really proud of the turnout of over 200 students,” said Farahi.
Farahi and other Kean University board members were challenged by another board member, Dr. Lamont Repollet, who himself accepted the challenge from his daughter. After 10 days of planning and deliberation, Farahi and the Kean University community accepted Dr. Repollet’s challenge on the steps of the officially opened Green Lane building: home to Barnes and Noble and the new Robert Busch School of Design. Farahi, in turn, wishes to “challenge other universities and presidents in New Jersey to do the same”.
Katie Dicarlo, a member of the Girl’s Field Hockey Team, was equally as happy to be a part of the challenge.
“It felt pretty great to do it with my teammates and my coach,” said Dicarlo.
Like the “Ice Bucket Challenge” itself, it was a “spur of the moment thing.”
“The coach wanted to do it, so we joined in,” said Dicarlo.
The coach, Leslie LaFranz, also donated $100.
Dr. Tim Riegle, Professor of Industrial Design of the Robert Busch School of Design, was festively adorned for the occasion in a SCUBA suit and fins with a black painted cutout of mighty Poseidon’s pitch-forked scepter.
“I was teaching a Furniture Design class in the morning and I looked up about a thousand pictures of Poseidon’s scepter. So, I cut out this one,” said Riegle.
After a long, hot day, Riegle was happy about the challenge and even welcomed some “cold water down his back.” Riegle also donated $100.
In a closing statement, John Nolan, President of the ALS Association of the Greater New York Area, gave a chilling reminder of what this challenge is really about.
“The Ice Bucket Challenge may become a thing of the past, but ALS will still be here,” said Nolan.
This is a reminder to all of us that although this particular challenge is over, the fight to treat and, ultimately, cure ALS remains.