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Obama Politely Declines Ethel Kennedy's ALS Challenge

President Obama politely declines Ethel Kennedy's water bucket challenge

Chances are, if you've been anywhere near Facebook lately, you've seen more than a few "ice bucket challenge" videos pop up on your newsfeed. The challenge first began going viral within the last month or so, with an aim to help raise awareness for ALS (or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a disease affecting the nerve cells.

While the message is a big one, the challenge itself is pretty simple. As participants stand in front of the camera, they declare the challenge accepted, nominate fellow friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate, and promptly pour a bucket full of ice water over their heads.

As it's quickly gone viral these last few weeks, even celebs have been joining in on the cause.

Elizabeth Banks did hers in the shower.

Martha Stewart got drenched over the sink.

Even Mr. JT joined in (along with a crowd of screaming friends).

And then last weekend, the Kennedy clan rounded themselves up in Hyannisport and completed the challenge all together. But they left the nominating powers to their matriarch, 86-year-old Ethel Kennedy, who bravely dumped water over her head in a white outfit.

Her nomination? President Obama.

Pretty cute.

Unfortunately, we will not be seeing the Prez standing on the green lawns in a suit and dumping a bucket of ice water over his head. The White House released a statement yesterday sharing that the President has opted to go the donation route instead.

"The President appreciates Mrs. Kennedy thinking of him for the challenge — though his contribution to this effort will be monetary," the White House told the Boston Globe. "The President will be making a donation to an ALS charity this week."

Boo. That could have been one hilarious video.

If you'd like to donate to the ALS fund or participate in the challenge, head to ALSA.org to learn more.

Photos via Instagram/YouTube

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