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    Aug 22, 2014

    Bush gets soaked for a good cause


    A DISEASE-FIGHTING publicity campaign gone viral has at least one presidential participant now.

    In a video posted on Wednesday, George W. Bush was doused with ice water in the ALS ice bucket challenge - and nominated his predecessor, Bill Clinton, to get wet, too.

    "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 going to write you a cheque," he says in the video.

    Then, Laura Bush is shown dumping a bucket of cold water over her husband, who calls out in shock. "That cheque is from me," Mrs Bush says into the camera. "I don't want to ruin my hairstyle."

    The campaign encourages supporters to pour buckets of ice or cold water over themselves, post videos of it on social media and nominate others who should follow suit or contribute money in order to raise awareness and funds into research for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive nerve disorder.

    Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and thousands of Americans have joined the campaign, which has raised US$31.5 million (S$40 million) since July 29 for the ALS Association.

    Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, doused herself and nominated President Barack Obama. A White House official said Mr Obama would send a cheque instead.

    At the end of Mr Bush's video, he issues his own challenge to Mr Clinton: "Yesterday was Bill's birthday, and my gift to Bill is a bucket of cold water."