Pastor and Fire and Rescue Chief Receive “Ice Bucket Challenge”

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Besides both being community leaders, what do Connie Thomson, Pastor of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Manassas, VA and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief, Kevin McGee have in common? Both recently received the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”. 


On Sunday, August 17, 2014, on the front lawn of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Pastor Connie Thomson was the first to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge. When Jeff Stamp, member of River of Grace, was asked by Pastor Thomson why he chose her for the challenge, he told her it’s because she is always encouraging others to get out of their comfort zones. Pastor Thomson said she believes “life happens when we get out of comfort zones because that is when we stop counting on ourselves and God can work with us.” Pastor Connie Thomson also said she accepted the challenge “because it was fun for the congregation and because she wanted people suffering from ALS to know that there are people standing with them spiritually and emotionally.” Before being doused with the icy water, Pastor Thomson named her choices of people to receive the challenge. Pastor Thomson named two fellow pastors: Kate Davidson of Columbia, Maryland, John Stevens from Oregon City, Oregon, “because why should the East Coast have all the fun”, Jim Hedrick, member of River of Grace, and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief, Kevin McGee. Chief McGee was invited to River of Grace to receive the challenge with Pastor Thomson and he accepted.


Chief Kevin McGee said he accepted the challenge because, “it is a great opportunity to bring more awareness to this terrible and debilitating disease so society can develop better treatments. Chief McGee went on to say that receiving the ice bucket challenge “is a small price to pay in comparison to what the people with ALS suffer every day.” While still dripping with icy water, Pastor Connie Thomson appeared to eagerly drench Fire Chief McGee with an equally icy bucket of water. 


The “Ice Bucket Challenge” was originated by “Team Frate Train”, friends of Peter Frates who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012. In addition to receiving the “ice bucket challenge”, Pastor Connie Thomson and Fire and Rescue Chief McGee will be making contributions to the ALS Association. The “ice bucket challenge” total donations has reached $22.9 million, 12 times the amount raised last year according to the ALS Association.

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