On Aug. 15, Jay Cleveland issued a challenge to his Cleveland Brothers employees — to raise the most money for the ALS walk in Pittsburgh and for all Caterpillar employees to have a bucket of ice cold water poured on their head. After receiving a bucket of cold water from Iceburgh, The Pittsburgh Penguins’ mascot, it was time for the Cleveland Brothers team to respond. They responded by having more than 60 employees getting the thrill, laughter and enjoyment of participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge.
Once the video was posted on YouTube, the Harrisburg Cleveland Brothers branch accepted the challenge from Jay Cleveland. The first to take on the task were Tom Kirchhoff, Pat Hays and Jeff Lauver. The three members of the executive team challenged the Harrisburg branch as a whole to participate. All employees were ready as they gathered in a big group under three 930K wheel loaders filled with cold water.
Tom Kirchhoff, a Third Generation owner of Cleveland Brothers Equipment Company was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. Before the Harrisburg branch had water poured on them they made a statement, “We Will Win,” a phrase coined by Mike McElrath a lifelong friend of Kirchhoff’s. He has used those three words and has applied it to everything he does. An owner, an athlete, a father and a husband he continues to never give up by being active in those aspects of his life.
Cleveland Brothers takes a tremendous amount of pride in supporting the cause to help find a cure for ALS. The company does not just donate, but participates with a team to do the ALS walk and is a top fundraiser in Pittsburgh and Hershey annually. The Harrisburg branch has raised approximately $8,000 dollars for ALS as a direct result of the ice bucket challenge, and they continue to keep pushing.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disorder along the same categories as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s. ALS weakens the body, causing muscle atrophy, which makes it difficult in speaking, swallowing and breathing. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has helped promote awareness of this disease and has raised more than $100 million dollars.
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