ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Hits Home at Noyes Library

Event honored library foundation's co-president, suffering from ALS



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Noyes Children's Library supporters douse themselves with ice water on Saturday to raise money for ALS research and bring attention to the library's efforts to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

Noyes Children's Library Foundation

It was a chilly, wet Saturday at the Noyes Children’s Library, and that had nothing to do with the pouring rain.

The viral Internet sensation, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, hit home, with local politicians, residents, library patrons and foundation board members taking part in the popular but chilly challenge to pour freezing water over their heads. The Ice Bucket Challenge is a fund-raiser for the ALS Association, which is seeking to find a cure for the disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

But the library’s event had a more personal connection. It celebrated the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation’s co-president, Jan Jablonski, who is coping with advancing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Her condition is so severe, it prohibits her from being able to enter the library.

And the event drew attention to renovations at Noyes that would make the county building accessible to those with physical disabilities. The Foundation is working to partner with Montgomery County to fund the project.

“This Ice Bucket Challenge is a perfect chance to highlight the need for support in the fight against ALS, while also pointing out just how many places are not accessible to people with physical challenges,” said Sheila Dinn, Jablonski’s co-president. “Jan has done so much for early literacy outreach because she loves Noyes and loves children – and she can no longer even get into the library.”

Participants in the library’s challenge included Montgomery County Council member George leventhal and Maryland Delegate Al Carr.

The foundation is accepting donations on its website for both the ALS Association and its Make MORE Noyes campaign to make the library accessible and double the usable space, all within the existing footprint of the 121-year old building.

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