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Greenfield mayor accepts ALS ice bucket challenge

Teeth-chattering torrents of ice water shock three volunteers who took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Greenfield Fire Station 2 last week. Dowsed were (from left) Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke, Hales Corners Elementary teacher Alyssa Guzikowski and Whitnall Superintendent Lowell Holtz.

Teeth-chattering torrents of ice water shock three volunteers who took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Greenfield Fire Station 2 last week. Dowsed were (from left) Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke, Hales Corners Elementary teacher Alyssa Guzikowski and Whitnall Superintendent Lowell Holtz.

Aug. 26, 2014

Greenfield — The bone-chilling ice water washes over you, and it's a cold that sucks the breath right out of you.

"There's an adrenaline rush, and it's so cold it overpowers you for a few seconds," said Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke who found himself under a torrent of ice water last week. "All the air goes right out of you."

He, Whitnall Superintendent Lowell Holtz and new Whitnall elementary teacher Alyssa Guzikowski took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a crippling and fatal disease.

Holtz had the same breath-taking sensation as the mayor.

"Not at first, but it (the water) kept coming," he said.

Both said they only shivered for a few minutes but after that, "it was refreshing on a hot day," Neitzke said.

But how was it, really?

"For some reason, I didn't think it would be as cold as it was," Neitzke said.

The icy deluge was a teeth-chattering surprise.

"It was very, very cold," he said.

On a scale of one to 10 of uncomfortable things to do, Neitzke put it at about seven or eight, possibly inflated by the shock factor.

Holtz said the fact that firefighters did the dowsing helped bring the uncomfortable factor down to four or five for him because he could trust them.

In fact, it was much better than he thought it would be because it was such a hot day, Holtz said.

Guzikowski added, "We were all getting warm standing in the sun."

That changed in a hurry.

"The worst part was the initial shock," she said, but it wasn't as bad as she expected.

When the challenge first came Neitzke's way, he wanted to go with it.

"Because it's a good cause, and I always accept challenges," he said.

The Ice Bucket Challenge seemed better than a dunk tank where you inevitably are dumped into the water again and again by somebody with a strong arm and a dead aim, he said.

"It's an awesome cause," Holtz said, "and my heart goes out to families who have lost people to the disease."

Guzikowski was all in, too.

"ALS is a horrible disease that needs more support and awareness," she said. "If dumping ice water over my head was a small way to help achieve that goal, I was happy to participate."

When asked if they would do the challenge again, there was a long pause from the mayor who eventually said, "Next time I'd probably just donate."

Holtz was more upbeat and said after only a short pause, "For a cause like that, you betcha."

But he admitted the challenge made him swim a bit against his nature. "I'm not an attention-seeking person."

But attention he and the others certainly got as a busload of new teachers in the Whitnall schools formed an audience at the Greenfield Fire Station while on a tour of the district.

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