During a pep rally on Aug. 8, McNicholas students cheered on their classmates in the first ever Coney Chomp Challenge for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
After the Archdiocese asked Catholics to not participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge due to a conflict with Catholic teaching and the ALS Association, McNick students asked what they could do to help the cause without going against the doctrine. Through the creativity and concern of the students, the new challenge was created.
“Our students are caring and always thinking of others, and so they kept coming up to us asking what they could do,” Director of Communications Shannon Kapp said.
Kapp asked the student body for suggestions and received ideas including a hot dog eating contest and a penny voting system. These ideas, along with others, were combined with Skyline Chili’s sponsorship of the Crosstown Showdown to create the Coney Chomp Challenge.
Before representatives from each class devoured their conies, Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events Shawn Young introduced McNick alumnus Chris Brockman ’81 to the students so they could see someone who would be affected first hand by their involvement.
“When you know someone with ALS and you realize what a terrible disease it is. It makes you grateful for anything you can do to raise awareness,” Young said.
Half of the money raised from voting went to Team Gleason, an organization started by Steve Gleason, a former player for the New Orleans Saints. Team Gleason is dedicated to providing individuals with help from technology and raising awareness so that a cure can be found. The other half went to Rocket Relief, an initiative started to give relief to disaster victims in the McNicholas community.
To learn more about Brockman and his fight, visit his blog found here.