Classmate inspires Ice Bucket Challenge at 45th reunion

ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — Add inspiration to a bucket of ice cold water and you have a simple equation for a viral movement.

For the Anderson High School class of 1969, the inspiration to participate in the social media phenomenon known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” came on Saturday from a classmate.

On the morning before their 45th reunion, 25 friends accepted the challenge issued by Jean Ann Stefke on the property where their high school building once stood.

Stefke, 63, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in November 2013 decades after her mother died of the disease. Stefke traveled from Atlanta, Geor. to attend the reunion and lead the group on its contribution to the mission.

“When I was diagnosed, they said ALS is an ‘orphan disease.’ It doesn’t get any attention. It doesn’t get much money. To see this grow and go viral has just been amazing,” Stefke said.

Jackie Guibault-Simmonds helped organize Saturday morning’s challenge, encouraging classmates to donate more than $500 to the ALS Association.

“It was just too big of an opportunity to miss,” Guibault-Simmonds said.

For more information about the Ice Bucket Challenge click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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