News & Politics

The Ice Bucket Challenge Made a Big Difference in ALS Research, So Let’s Remember Some DC-Area People Who Took It

Reader, come with me back to 2014, when the Flint water crisis began, ISIS declared the caliphate, and the ice bucket challenge dominated social media. If you’re still wondering whether those cold dunks made a difference, the ALS Association has some very good news: not only did annual funding for ALS research increase by 187 percent, the research facilitated important discoveries like five genes that contribute to the disease, plus new clinical trials and lots more published research. To use the ALS Association’s words, the $100-plus million raised by the viral stunt “dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS.”

Who took it around here? Lots of people, even if President Obama and Vice President Biden declined to do so (there was a debate over whether it would be presidential, ha ha ha, remember that word?). Donald Trump did in fact take it, though Members of Congress were prohibited by ethics rules from posting challenge videos on their personal accounts. Jeanette Senerchia‘s mop bucket, used for what appears to be the very first time the challenge was linked with ALS, ended up in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.

Herewith, some ice-bucket challenge videos from DC-area notables or DC-adjacent people that I dug up.

Alexander Ovechkin:

Andrea Mitchell:

Mitt Romney:

George W. Bush:

Cory Booker:

Jake Tapper:

Mike Allen:

D.C. United:

Someone named “Bryce Harper,” who was apparently employed as an athlete in this region at some point:

José Andrés (this one is spectacular):

ALS #icebucketchallenge

Hello People of America. I am in Vegas at the new SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Thank you Eric Ripert for nominating me for the The ALS Association #icebucketchallenge! I nominate birthday boy Al Roker Gwyneth Paltrow & Craig Ferguson! I will also be donating to raise awareness. click here to learn more

Posted by José Andrés on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.