I hope everyone enjoyed my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The water was a little cold. I was more than happy to support the challenge for local Cleveland native Ken Janssen. I met Ken at a show years back he invited me to when he was booking at the Beachland. It was an Americana Festival and Ken was slinging drinks behind the bar. I think I missed a couple of bands because we talked at length about the Cleveland music scene. Little did I know just a few months later Ken would be diagnosed with ALS.
What I knew about ALS up to that point would fit on the back of a pin with something about Lou Gehrig in there. I’ve been following Ken on social media. We would always go back and forth trolling on whatever the hot button topic of the day was. As time would go on Ken was posting less and less. ALS was taking over his body, but never his spirit. I know he can read some of my more epic trolls and he is laughing, but slowly this evil fucking disease is taking control. It is hard as hell to watch this play out. I miss his snarky wit, humor and his downright intellectual discussions.
People want to hate on things. They want to find the bad in doing good. So, the posts started coming on social media about the waste of water. Is ALS worth wasting my 5 gallons of water? Sure. If you truly believe what you are doing is going to change things for the better absolutely. If you ever had the pleasure of meeting Ken Janssen for even one minute you’d realize 5 gallons of water is nothing to give for such a great dude. Do I really think they are going to shower Ken with 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of dollars? No, but I don’t want to have another friend have to ever have to go through what Ken and his family are going through.
The haters strike back…but Jason, this is going to take away from other charities! Well kids, the world of charities are big business. ALS happened to get a huge marketing boast from some videos and it went viral and it is their turn in the spotlight. You can’t hate on a charity for good marketing. You really shouldn’t be hating on a charity at all as long as it is doing something good in the world.
There are multiple awesome Cleveland local charities that I support. Everyone knows I am part time patron saint of the dogs and Secondhand Mutts champion. I am also a big supporter of the Waterloo Alley Cats Project. Supporting something doesn’t mean to throw a bunch of money at it. That helps of course, but at the end of the day if I can hip someone to one of my causes that they can get behind. That’s what this ALS thing is all about. It is raising millions of dollars, but at the same time it is educating people about what people like my friend Ken are going through.
Say what you will about the challenge. You are sick of the videos. You won’t watch the videos. We are wasting water. It is serving a purpose, and it is positive. It is getting people to really get into charitable giving and to have fun with it. My video goes out to Ken, and his family as does my donation in his name.