Cloud learned about the debilitating effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, first-hand 3 years ago when his longtime friend and IBT supplier John Thomson, Jr. began battling the disease. Thomson is the past President of Thomson Industries, a major supplier of ball bushings and linear motion equipment for IBT since the 1960s.
“Our families have been friends for years,” Cloud said. “Thomson is not just an IBT supplier, he’s also a close personal friend who introduced me to sailing, which is a personal passion of mine.”
Thomson’s day-to-day battle with the disease inspired Cloud to learn more about ALS and the research effort. 3 other members of the IBT family have battled—or are currently battling—ALS, including Judy Renick, mother of Senior Account Manager Mark Lewis at IBT—St. Louis; Paulette Dickson, mother of Mark Dickson, IBT’s Storage Manager in Oklahoma City; and Michael Wawrzyniak, father of Roger Wawrzyniak, a Customer Service Representative at the Merriam branch.
More: What Is ALS?
“I wanted to do the ice bucket challenge to raise money for ALS and try to find a cure for this disease,” Cloud said. “I also wanted to support the members of our IBT extended family who deal with this every day.”
So Cloud teamed up with Gary Porter, IBT’s Safety and Warehouse Equipment Group Director, for the ALS ice bucket challenge. Porter was nominated by Mark Lewis. Cloud and Porter did the ice bucket challenge together on the front steps of the IBT headquarters on August 25, 2014.
Cloud then named all 1,500 of IBT’s vendors to the ice bucket challenge—plus all of the other bearing and power transmission distributors across the country. He also asked IBT employees to get involved by making a donation, and offered to match any IBT employee contribution with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Cloud Family Foundation.
In the first 48 hours alone, IBT employees donated over $1,000, which will come to $2,000 with the Cloud Family Foundation match. The funds will be sent to the University of Kansas program dedicated to ALS research.
“We’re excited to be a part of the effort to help find a cure for ALS,” Cloud said. “We appreciate the opportunity to participate.”