Rockdale County Public Schools Superintendent Richard Autry was challenged by several people in the community to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. In turn, he put down the gauntlet to RCPS schools; whichever principal's school came up with the largest donation in a 48 hour period would be the one to pour ice water on him.
Raising $1,050, Hightower Trail Elementary won his challenge handily. After school Tuesday, HTE Principal Laura Bates dumped the ice bucket on a suited Autry.
Hightower Trail Elementary - $1,050
Davis Middle School - $404
C.J. Hicks Elementary - $250
Previous Challenges -
Rockdale County High School - about $2,600
Heritage High School - about $4,500
Lorraine Elementary - $593
The challenge was one that hit home for the RCPS family. Brad Boling, a Rockdale County Public Schools employee and Director of Business Services in the finance department, was diagnosed with ALS about three years ago and passed away last April at the age of 46. Boling, a husband, father of two and a Covington resident, was nicknamed "Mr. Hotdog" because of his favorite lunch entrée at Beasley's Drug Store in Olde Town Conyers.
Boling's father, Brent Boling, attended the Aug. 22 Rockdale-Heritage football season opening game and said he was glad to see the increased awareness of ALS among young people and the wider public from the Ice Bucket Challenge.
"Yeah, the money's important but awareness... These kids at school they probably didn't have any idea about what ALS was and looked it up. I'm sure most of the teachers have a little better understanding now. The awareness to me is as important as the money that is earned."
He continued, "I hope I'm able to live long enough to see a major breakthrough in this disease. Since they named it after Lou Gehrig in 1941, more than 70 years ago, they've got one drug that slows the progression for one patients. Some not all. It didn't help my son."
Brent Boling and his family stays active volunteering for ALS benefit events. "It makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile."