By Scott Robertson
Photos by Chris Robertson
If you followed our coverage of the recent GOP primaries, you know Matthew Hill and I have had differences of opinion. But one thing on which we do agree is that research into the cure of Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is worth funding.
In the last few weeks, a fund-raising fad called the Ice Bucket Challenge has captured the public attention and raised ALS donations ten-fold over what they were a year
ago. Invented by a former athlete in Boston, the challenge calls for a participating individual to submit to having a bucket of ice water dumped over his or her head, then to challenge someone else to do the same thing or else give a donation to ALS research. Generally, to keep in the spirit of things, most folks submit to the soaking, then give the money to ALS research anyway, while challenging someone else to do the same.
I was challenged last week by Jane Arthur of Team Timp (named for Phil Timp, whom we lost to ALS last year). I accepted the opportunity to donate immediately, then
decided to go ahead with the soaking after a half-second’s hesitation. But I thought long and hard about whom to challenge afterward.
In the end, I was inspired by Shepherd Smith of FoxNews and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. Those two individuals are leading
figures on opposite sides of an ideological battle over how the news should be covered. Yet they came together with smiles for ALS research.
When I thought about whom I had opposed in any way recently, Matthew Hill’s name came to mind. He seemed a perfect choice. He and I had exchanged public barbs, but outside the political arena, I had heard he was a good man.
So I called him and, happily, found him eager to take part. Throughout the process of setting it up and shooting the images and video, Rep. Hill was a perfect gentleman.
Not only did Rep. Hill take the soaking in stride (he challenged fellow State Representative Micah Van Huss), he also made a significant contribution to ALS research in the name of my late father-in-law, who passed away from ALS years ago.
It’s heart-warming to see so many good people across America coming together to do this silly, yet meaningful thing for a worthy cause.
And I commend Representative Hill for putting aside whatever differences he and I have had in order that we might help, in however small a way, to put an end to this disease forever.
I called Matthew Hill for help on ALS, and Matthew listened. Thank you.