Down On The Farm

Employees at a local restaurant aren’t afraid to get a little wet for the benefit of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research.

On Tuesday, several managers and employees of Bob Evans Restaurant participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge in order to raise awareness of the illness and prepare for its upcoming fundraising efforts.

In all, five people – including three managers, one employee and the son of an employee – went under the bucket to fulfill the challenge. Among them was employee Diona Leight, who brought the idea of participating in the challenge to management.

“I’ve seen (the ALS ice bucket challenge) all over Facebook, and I thought – since we’re all employees at Bob Evans, and it’s a big corporation – it would be a great way to help the cause,” Leight said.

Renee Domenico, manager, said management took Leight’s idea and decided to expand upon it to incorporate as many of the restaurant staff as possible.

“She and I coordinated to involve as many people as we could, because we thought it would be nice for the community to see and it would be a good opportunity to promote teamwork,” she said.

The ALS ice bucket challenge is a viral “chain letter-style” video phenomena that has taken social networking websites by storm over the last few months. Though there are several versions of what participating in the challenge entails, the most commonly practiced version is one in which an individual who has been nominated by someone else for the challenge must upend a bucket’s worth of ice water over their head within 24 hours of being nominated or donate $100 toward ALS research at the ALS Association. Some participants have chosen to both complete the challenge and donate.

The challenge has received its share of both praise and criticism, depending on the source, over the way it has been enacted, but preliminary donation numbers released by the ALS Association indicate that the organization has received more funding from the public this year than any other by an exponential amount.

The Bob Evans staff who completed the ice bucket challenge Tuesday went on to nominate other local restaurants for participation, including: Bob Evans’ Dunkirk location, Ruby Tuesday in Lakewood, Applebee’s in Lakewood and the Tim Hortons located on North Main Street.

Taking it one step further, Domenico added that the Jamestown Bob Evans will be raising money for the ALS Association over a three-day window this week.

“From this Thursday through Saturday, we’re donating 15 percent of all of our bakery sales to ALS as part of our contribution for the cause,” she said.