ALS Association recruits legends of OSU football for ice bucket challenge fundraiser

Former Ohio State football player William White, left in OSU hat, took the ice bucket challenge last year and this year will be joined by several former Buckeye coaches and players to raise money for the local ALS chapter. White has suffered with the disease for three years. CONTRIBUTED
Former Ohio State football player William White, left in OSU hat, took the ice bucket challenge last year and this year will be joined by several former Buckeye coaches and players to raise money for the local ALS chapter. White has suffered with the disease for three years. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

While the 2020 college football season may not be on ice, a group of former Ohio State football coaches and their former players are ready to give it a cool reception for a good cause.

The ALS Association of Central & Southern Ohio Chapter will present the Legends of Ohio State Football ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 9.

Representing 68 years of OSU football, the alumni will gather to honor former Buckeye William White, who has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, by taking the chilly challenge to raise funds for ALS research and awareness of the disease, which has no cure.

The public can view the event live on the ALS Central and Southern Ohio’s You Tube channel at noon.

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The public can support the event by choosing a coach and making a donation. Participants include former OSU head coaches Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel and John Cooper, along with honorary coach Greg Lashutka, who will represent the late coaches Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce.

Players from each era will also get soaked including Springfield’s Dee Miller, Braxton Miller, Maurice Clarett, A.J. Hawk, Andy Katzenmoyer and Keith Byers and others. Buckeye standout Chris Spielman will be the event master of ceremonies.

White has become a central figure in the fight against ALS in the central Ohio area, participating at last year’s annual Walk to End ALS with his own team. The coronavirus pandemic has sidelined several annual ALS fundraising events, including the annual walks in various regions to events with the Dayton Dragons and Cincinnati Reds.

“ALS has not stopped and neither have we,” said Tammy Schiessler, the Central and Southern Chapter development director, who operates remotely out of Springfield. “We knew we weren’t going to hit our walk goals and had to pivot to make this work with a lot of calling colleagues, making plans and creative thinking.”

White played cornerback for Bruce from 1984-87 and then for 11 years in the NFL with Detroit and Atlanta. He’s currently a director for Trazer Technologies, Inc., a company that focuses on improvement of health, physical performance and fitness.

White, with his enthusiasm and OSU connections, had a fundraising solution on tap and several willing to get chilled to help.

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“We’ve got Buckeye Nation out there, and there’s nothing that we as Buckeye Nation can’t overcome,” White said in a statement for the Central and Southern Chapter.

While the site of the ice bucket challenge won’t be open to the public, Schiessler said the participants will follow pandemic safety protocols including social distancing, using masks and hand sanitizer when not getting bucketed.

Brutus Buckeye will do the honors of pouring the icy water on the participants. People can watch the event on the ALS Association’s website.

Schiessler wants people to enjoy this, but also come away with more knowledge of ALS, which kills someone with it every 90 minutes. Military veterans are twice as likely to contract ALS for reasons unknown.

“People that can are stepping up and this friendly competition should be fun,” she said.

For more information on the event, go to www.ALSohio.org.