Venable attorneys and others participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge on the rooftop of the firm's D.C. offices.
Venable attorneys and others participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge on the rooftop of the firm’s D.C. offices. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ)

Behold the blue recycling bin.

On Friday, the humble paper receptacle became the cold delivery system Venable lawyers and staff carried from their offices to the firm’s D.C. rooftop to accept the ice bucket challenge.

It was an event similar to others the firm has hosted, like bocce, but this one was for charity. Venable dedicated the afternoon to Michael Gollin, a partner there since 1998 and chairman of the life-sciences practice who was diagnosed with ALS—the neurodegenerative disorder sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease—about a year ago.

Some Venable participants brought shower caps and garbage bags to cover their clothes; others, like Damon Wright, an intellectual property partner and the event’s organizer, showed up fully besuited. He was among the “dunkers.” They outnumbered the “dumpers.”

Wright announced the event to a video camera, then strode calmly and smiling to the front of a 40-person line. The first recycling bin filled with water and ice was tipped up and over his head and then, in turn, dunkers down the line turned from smiling to wide-mouthed and wet.

Gollin didn’t attend Friday’s ice bucket challenge. Instead, he was in Cape Cod, Mass., with his family. He learned about the event not even 48 hours ago, when Wright and others in the D.C. office began to plan it.

“Beautiful,” Gollin wrote to Wright in an email. “Wish I could watch it live but happy I won’t get doused. What a great idea.”

Gollin took the plunge after the firm recorded its own event. (See videos of both below.)

In all, Venable raised more than $2,000 for ALS research on Friday.

Now, it’s onto their neighbors to respond—either by donating to ALS research or dousing themselves.

The neighboring firms Venable challenged are:

Arnold & Porter
Crowell & Moring
Covington & Burling
DLA Piper
Duane Morris
Hogan Lovells
Nixon Peabody
Norton Rose Fulbright
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
Troutman Sanders
White & Case

Washington Wizards (with the exception of player Bradley Beal, who got soaked earlier this week)

Washington Capitals

UPDATED 8/18 to include videos. Contact reporter Katelyn Polantz at