Anthony Senerchia Jr., who inspired ice bucket challenge, has died

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Photo: Deborah Karson

Anthony Senerchia Jr., credited with inspiring the “ice bucket challenge” that saw celebrities, sports figures, members of fire and police departments and others get doused in the name of charity, has died.

A high school football captain in his youth, Senerchia was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2003, shortly after he got married. He lived 10 years beyond what doctors initially feared, determined to share as much of his daughter Taya’s life.

An online fund has been started for Taya’s education; her dad was not able to buy life insurance due to his illness.

“Throughout his fight, Anthony maintained a positive attitude and would say ‘It’s not what we take from life, but what we give back to others is what ultimately defines us,'” his obituary noted.

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The campaign raised more than $220 million for research into the condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sernechia and his family rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2014 and two years later. In 2016, the original bucket his wife Jeanette used to kick things off became part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

Read his full obituary here

PHOTOS: Woodstock Police Department accepts the ice bucket challenge

In his memory, here are some of our favorite ice bucket challenges: