Howard Keim accepts ALS ice bucket challenge

by Katie Schroeder – Horizon Features Editor

Being doused with ice water – on camera – is the newest social media sensation. Joining in is our own Hesston College President, Howard Keim, who accepted the challenge last week in front of an audience of excited faculty, staff, and students.

“When the water came over me it was some kind of physical thing,” he said. “There was something good about an actual physical event taking place because of the ice water and how our bodies react.”

President Keim took the challenge then made his own, calling out the Hesston College Board of Directors.

Keim said he accepted the feat because he couldn’t turn down his daughter Tonya Bartel, who gave him the challenge. The second reason? It was just the right thing to do.

“It’s a good cause and doesn’t get as much publicity as heart disease or diabetes,” he said.

Accepting this challenge meant a lot to Keim. Although he said he has never known anyone personally who had ALS, he has done his research. He said he was moved by the difficulty of the disease, which effects about 5600 people in the U.S. alone each year, according to the ALS Association. 

“ALS is a very hard disease,” he said. “It’s not an easy way to die.”

Keim, whose video has already gotten over 400 views on YouTube, said didn’t want to just accept the challenge privately. He knew that with his title as President of Hesston College he could make more of an impact. That’s why he challenged the Hesston College Board of Directors next.

Keim says he hopes that this challenge and the money it’s raised can either “find the disease early and cure it or at least make life better for those who have it.”

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