Just over a week ago I saw my Facebook feed really begin to blow up with the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge. It was mostly my radio friends in Boston, who were all tagging each other and posting videos of them dumping actual buckets of ice over their heads. Now, I know it’s hot in Boston, but I still didn’t really understand the need to make all your friends do this. A little more research and I discovered it wasn’t just a way to stay cool, but an exciting way to spread awareness about ALS.
The neurodegenerative disease, also known as ALS, affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The impassioned Bostonites have started this movement on behalf of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with the disease in June 2012. Just two years later, 29 year old Frates is paralyzed, to the point where he has to eat through a feeding tube and can no longer talk. Though the challenge started a few months back, as a way to help raise money for the ALS Association, it just started taking off over the past couple of weeks, and it’s been absolutely amazing to see so many people getting involved.
To date, with the help of so many amazing people tagging their friends, families, and co-workers; the fundraiser has raised $168,000 in just a matter of days. If you compare this to last year, where it raised only $14,000 in a longer period of time, it’s a really amazing accomplishment. This weeks number is only expected to grow. With country musicians like Dierks Bentley (who was challenged by Chase Rice and Jay Rodgers at Boston’s Country 102.5) getting involved and calling out his fellow famous friends, Kip Moore and the guys of The Cadillac Three, there’s no doubt that the donations are going to surge as each one takes part.
As always, it’s amazing to see the power of compassion and togetherness when it comes to challenges and fundraisers like this. Even more so when you see celebrities taking the time and initiative to get involved, as they have the power to spread the message to a wider audience.
Hats off to Boston (especially the excellent people at Greater Media Boston) for beginning such an amazing fundraiser and doing an excellent job at spreading the word! Be sure to search Twitter for #StrikeOutALS to see more Ice Bucket Challenge videos!
Are you going to take the challenge? Be sure to drop your video in the comments below or tweet us @JukeboxMixtape if you do! Don’t want to take the challenge but eager to help out? You can donate at webma.alsa.org now!