Cool friends join challenge

Gloria Laue was surrounded by family, friends, former co-workers and Ingleside health care staff Friday as the group undertook the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The challenge saturated social media sites this month as a way to raise money and awareness for ALS and the people, like Laue, who have the illness.

Laue worked for the Soil and Water Conservation District for 31 years and her co-workers were eager to show support.

One of them, Lori Janssen, was challenged by her daughter, Courtney.

“I thought I’d have everybody in the office do it,” Janssen said. “Everybody was happy to get on board.”

Earlier this year, Laue’s co-workers had urged her to go to the doctor.

“It’s fast,” Janssen said about ALS. “She was working in April with us. Two months ago, she was living at home by herself. Now she’s here at Ingleside.”

Rather than do individual dousings, the group opted to be sprayed with a fire hose. Although a fire truck wasn’t available, Doug Borchardt, chief of the Fairmont Fire Department, donated his time and expertise tapping into a nearby hydrant.

“I know it’s not the ice, but it’s just as cold,” Janssen said.

On Thursday, Laue learned what her friends and co-workers planned to do “and she just broke down,” Janssen said.

But Laue was smiling Friday.

“Let’s do this together,” she said.

Seated in a wheelchair, surrounded by family and friends, she continued to smile as Borchardt opened up the hose and sprayed the group.

There was a lot of squealing, a lot of laughing and a lot of love and support.

“Nobody really knows what ALS is,” Janssen said. “They’re taking the challenge, but do they really know what it is?”