Ethel Kennedy takes ALS 'ice bucket challenge,' challenges Obama

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News

Ethel Kennedy, the 86-year-old widow of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, took the so-called "ice bucket challenge" at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., over the weekend, and dared President Barack Obama — who is vacationing on nearby Martha’s Vineyard — to do the same.

"Welcome to Cape Cod, President Obama," Kennedy said in a video of the stunt posted to Facebook on Monday by her son, Max, before a small bucket of ice water was dumped on her head. "I nominate you."

The ice bucket challenge is part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, the degenerative condition better known Lou Gehrig's Disease, with participants posting videos of themselves doused in ice-cold water — and subsequently nominating someone else to either follow or donate to an ALS charity.

According to the Huffington Post, the ALS Association has seen donations skyrocket since the ice bucket challenge began enlisting celebrities like Martha Stewart, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Bruins forward Brad Marchand.

The challenge originated with former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who is currently battling ALS. According to the National ALS Registry, there are at least 12,187 people living with ALS in the United States, or about 4 out of every 100,000.

On Tuesday, the White House responded to Kennedy, saying the president would skip the bucket, and make a donation instead.