Updated 12:20 p.m. Aug. 20.

San Diego’s business, government and educational leaders are cooling down with buckets of ice water to support research into ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

From Chamber President Jerry Sanders, who spiked the ice bucket with craft beer, to Mayor Kevin Faulconer and School Superintendent Cindy Martin, local leaders are happily immersing themselves in ice water in the national show of viral support.

Faulconer upped the ante, challenging perhaps the most famous fictional San Diegan, Ron Burgundy – the creation of comedian Will Ferrell – to dunk himself next.

“By the beard of Zeus, and as San Diego mayor, I hereby challenge to the ,” he tweeted of the notorious Anchorman character. 

The ALS Association is benefiting from an outpouring of support. The charity has received $31.5 million in donations over the past four weeks, compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is to either pay $100 to the ALS Association, or pour ice water over your head. Most who take the challenge do both.

Among those are Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, former president George Bush and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, as well as many national celebrities.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Patients gradually lose control of their muscles, and in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.