Around a hundred Davenport students, joined by their dean and master, drenched themselves in ice water Sunday afternoon. The college took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in support of Operations Manager Carolyn Haller, who has lived with ALS for six years.
Haller was surprised and moved to tears as she watched Davenport community members dump salvaged buckets, recycling bins and pitchers full of ice water on themselves in the middle of the courtyard. The drenched and enthusiastic crowd circled Haller in a group hug immediately after.
“I am overwhelmed by the support and the love that Davenport has shown me and it’s the thing that keeps me going,” she said.
Coordinated by Jordan Sabin ’16, students spent the last two weeks advertising the surprise event and raising money for the ALS Association. Sabin said the greatest challenge was keeping Haller from finding out, because she is so integral to communications within the college.
He said he was inspired to do the ice bucket challenge in Davenport because he thought it would be more meaningful to do it for someone he actually knew.
“Carolyn is a central part of the Davenport community and we’ve been very close throughout my time here,” he said. “I wanted us to be able to show solidarity for her.”
The college will also participate in the annual Connecticut ALS Walk next month, said Davenport Dean Ryan Brasseaux. Last year, Davenport students raised almost $5,000 to help find a cure.
“It’s about coming together as a community, understanding and supporting one another; this to me had great meaning,” Brasseaux said. ” But it was [very] cold.”
She said the ALS Ice Bucket challenge has made a huge difference by raising money and awareness of a disease “that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
Participants challenged President Peter Salovey, the other residential college Operations Managers and Pierson College to follow suit.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects the central nervous system and progressively shuts down the body over the course of several years.