#IceBucketChallenge Accepted

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past two months, you have seen a surge of ice water posts flooding your Facebook streams. In no small effort, the ALS Association has capitalized on a viral campaign where every day people and celebrities alike are dumping ice water all over themselves in order to build awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The neurodegenerative disease affects around 30,000 Americans, debilitating their motor skills while leaving their brains sharp. To date, there is no cure, and approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed each year.

My best friend and his husband nominated three people to keep this modern day chain letter going, so I had 24 hours to either dump a bucket of ice water on my head or donate to the ALS Association. I chose both.

You don’t have to wait for a nomination to join the campaign. Simply record a video of yourself challenging three people to the task, dump ice water on your head and post it to social media, or donate whatever you want to give to the cause. There are no rules saying you can’t do both.

Here’s my video if you’re needing a little humiliating encouragement:

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Project: Oneonta Gorge

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I had the privilege of working with Travel Oregon many years ago for their summer awareness campaign, and was delighted to see this year’s focus is on the “7 Wonders of Oregon“. The Coast, the Gorge, the Mountain, the Hills, the Rock, the Wallowas and the Lake all have stunning highlights in this series, but the feature on Oneonta Gorge was particularly moving for me. I’m looking forward to experiencing Oneonta first hand when the weather reaches its peak heat wave, and will make sure to tell you all about it.

P.S. If this video doesn’t motivate you to “get out there”, then I can’t help you.

 

A Cappella Happiness: Pentatonix’s “Run to You”

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A cappella is hands down one of my all time favorite things. The culmination of harmonies conjures so much raw emotion, and often brings me to tears. Pentatonix is an incredible 5 person group that won Season 3 of The Sing-Off, and “Run to You” is their first original song. You may have heard or seen some of their other arrangements, including “Somebody I Used to Know“, Draft Punk Medley or “Radioactive” (with another personal favorite, Lindsey Stirling), but this display of talent really spoke to my choral background and the blending voices together to make something truly beautiful.

Enjoy.