ALS Awareness: It's Much More Than Just The Ice Bucket Challenge For Siouxland Family


Published 08/19 2014 09:52PM

Updated 08/19 2014 10:43PM

Sioux City's Jim Staber is a big part of the fight for ALS awareness in Siouxland and has been for years now.  He started getting involved with his family years ago when his late wife Rita was
diagnosed with the disease.
"It's a horrid, horrid disease," said Jim Staber, ALS awareness advocate.

Staber knows the disease all too well.  He lost his wife Rita to ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, this January.  For years, Jim and his family have been struggling to raise awareness for ALS. But now? They're
getting a boost from the ice bucket challenge.
"This little thing, this ice bucket thing? It's unbelievable. We've gotten more notoriety in a month and a half than we've had for 30 years," Staber said.

The ice bucket challenge is taking the country by storm.  The viral videos are everywhere... from Jimmy Fallon and the New York Jets all the way to local Siouxland government.

Jim said he's glad the challenge is helping raise money and awareness here in Iowa.
"Anytime you can get people involved in something, no matter what the method is, I think it's good. And I think it's silly but I think people are going, 'oh, I can do that. Big deal, I get my hair
wet'," Staber said.

Jim's kids have already done the ice bucket challenge.  So on Tuesday, it was his turn.  He drenched himself in the icy water in Rita's memory, something the family believes she would have enjoyed.

Immediately after the icy bath, we checked in with Jim to see if his good mood about the event turnout was still going strong. And despite the chilly turn, he said he's happy to do it for Rita.

"Cold, thank you! And well worth it," Staber said.

And with events like the ice bucket challenge and the upcoming ALS walk, Jim's helping Siouxland keep both ALS awareness and Rita's memory alive.
Tuesday's event at the Southern Hills Hy-Vee raised just under $7,500 dollars, with $5,000 coming right from Jim and the folks at the family business, Staber Meats.

But with the ice bucket challenge, you're supposed to challenge someone else to get involved.  Since Rita loved the Iowa Hawkeyes and got to watch a last game just hours before she passed, Jim's got his eyes over in Iowa City.

He's challenging Kirk Ferentz and his offensive line to the ice bucket challenge.

Boys? You have 24 hours to respond.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.