Financial Aid employees react as they pour buckets of ice water over their heads to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge in honor of co-worker Vicky Boyles.

Photographer: Katelyn Vancouver


Accounting specialist in Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Kathie Hanning gives her speech before participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Aug. 27, 2014.

Photographer: Katelyn Vancouver

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Financial Aid staff honors ill co-worker with ALS Ice Bucket Challenge [VIDEO]

The Ohio University Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships has joined the millions of people who have decided to get cold and wet in the name of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) awareness.

Shortly after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 19 current and former Student Financial Aid and Scholarships employees gathered outside of Chubb Hall on College Green to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The staff performed the challenge as a gift to coworker Vicky Boyles, who was celebrating her birthday that day. The staff also challenged the other offices housed in Chubb Hall to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Boyles, the assistant director of loans, has been on medical leave since March after she was diagnosed with progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). Related to ALS, PMA is a rare motor neuron disease that only affects the lower motor neurons and accounts for about 4 percent of all motor neuron diseases.

Kathie Hanning, an accounting specialist in Financial Aid and Scholarships, said her former supervisor recently moved to California to live with her sister and will be pleasantly surprised when she sees her co-workers perform the Ice Bucket Challenge and donate money to the ALS Association in her honor.

"I have seen a lot of people doing the Ice Bucket Challenge and it occurred to me that we have a better reason to do it than most people because we know someone who has been affected by a motor neuron disease,"

Hanning said. "We wanted to do something special for Vicky's birthday and we thought she would enjoy seeing us get doused with water and would replay it over and over to see each of us get wet. It's also very Vicky because she is a very generous person herself, so I know she will really appreciate it."

Valerie Miller, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, said the staff wanted to help bring awareness to the ALS fundraiser as well as honor Boyles, who had worked in the office since 2002.

"Kathie Hanning should get the credit for coming up with this great idea – it was her brainchild," Miller said. "Vicky helped thousands of students during her career and we hope this video and the birthday e-card we are going to send her helps her realize how much we are still thinking about her."

As of Aug. 27, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised almost $95 million for the ALS Association since July 29 compared to $2.7 million during the same time period a year ago. The national non-profit agency also has attracted more than 2.1 million new donors this summer.