(PIX11) – The Ice Bucket Challenge just got presidential.
Former President George W. Bush joined in the playful competition that challenges people to douse themselves with frigid water to raise awareness and money for ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Bush said “several Americans” have challenged him, including New York Jets’ owner Woody Johnson, NFL coach Jim Harbaugh, professional golfer Rory McIlroy, and his daughter and NBC News correspondent Jenna Bush Hager.
“To you all who challenged me, I do not think it’s presidential for me to be splashed with ice water, so I’m simply gonna write you a check,” Bush said in the video posted to his Facebook page Wednesday.
As Bush leans over a table to write the check, former first lady Laura Bush sidles up beside him with a bucket of water and douses him.
“That check is from me,” she said. “I don’t wanna ruin my hair style.”
Part of Jenna Bush Hager’s challenge included her mom, who Hager suspected would be fearful of the challenge lest she ruin her notoriously quaffed hair-do.
In keeping with the challenge’s “rules,” Bush challenged his predecessor and “friend” former President Bill Clinton.
“Yesterday was Bill’s birthday and my gift to Bill is a bucket of cold water,” Bush said.
President Barack Obama has been challenged by multiple Ice Bucket participants, including the 86-year-old Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and NBA player LeBron James.
Obama’s camp responded saying his contribution to the cause would be monetary – not watery.
Some 30,000 Americans have ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that ultimately causes paralysis and death in its patients.
There is no known cure for it and more than 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS every year, according to the ALS Association.
Facebook feeds have been flooded with videos of Ice Bucket Challenge participants dumping icy cold water on their heads.
The movement has been criticized by some as “slacktivism,” a derisive nickname for a campaign that involves Internet showmanship and little else. But the ALS Association said the competition seems to be working.
As of Wednesday, the association has received $31.5 million in donations, compared to $1.9 million during the same challenge-less time period last year.