The women’s lacrosse team is reviving the Ice Bucket Challenge with their own spin. Women’s lacrosse player Abbi Harrah’s mother, Maureen Harrah, passed away on Jan. 15 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.
Members of the lacrosse team are spreading awareness of ALS by sitting in ice baths and dumping ice cold water on themselves. The recorded video was then put on Facebook for the world to see. The team challenged the women’s lacrosse teams at the University of North Carolina, Adelphi University and Lycoming College.
The viral video challenge made its popular wave in the fall of 2014 where people would dump ice cold water over themselves and challenge others to do the same. The challenge was created in order to bring about awareness to ALS.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is not the only thing the lacrosse team is doing to honor Harrah. Senior Micaela Gately decided to take a step forward by meeting with the players and the coaches in order to find ways to show the most support for the Harrah family.
A seat and plaque will be a designated spot in the new stadium for Harrah’s mother to watch every game. The first home game of the season against Adelphi will be called the ALS Mocs of Moji game.
Moji was Maureen’s nickname and the name of the foundation the Harrah family started, MOJ13 Foundation.
“Everyone on the team wasn’t able to meet Maureen but we all really wanted to do our part with what we could,” Gately said. “My coach and I organized a group chat to accumulate ideas for comfort and support.”
Thirty-two out of the 40 players on the lacrosse team are from outside the state of Florida. The players from out of state rarely see their family, which makes being a part of a team very important.
Sophomore Ashley Norberg from Minnesota views her teammates as family members.
“A lot of us come from out of state and don’t get to see our families very often, so being on a team is just like our family away from home,” Norberg said. “If you ever have a problem or are going through a hardship it’s comforting knowing that you have a team of 40 girls to have your back and will support you through anything.”
Head Coach Kara Reber hopes that other teams will follow the lacrosse team’s lead in spreading awareness for ALS.
“We would love any involvement and any help with people promoting it,” Reber said. “We started the ice bucket challenge and it would be great if other teams started to do it as well.”
Women’s lacrosse hopes to spread awareness for ALS, but also aims at becoming a stronger family off the field. Reber thinks through tragedy people understand how important family is.
“We are all there for her and this made everyone realize how important our lacrosse family is to each other and it essentially makes things that much stronger in the group,” Reber said.
The ALS Mocs of Moji game will be played on Feb. 17. In honor of Harrah, both teams will be wearing orange shirts during the warm-up.
To raise money for ALS, the team is also selling ALS pins for $5 and t-shirts for $10. A portion of the ticket sales for the game will also go towards ALS.
Donations can be dropped off at the lacrosse office or at the game.