The “Ice Bucket Challenge” is everywhere. And everyone is doing it from morning talk show hosts to celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Fallon and Robert Downey Jr., even former President George W. Bush, just to name a select few.
So, why is everyone doing it? How can it possibly raise money for charity?
Well, before you fill up a bucket of freezing ice water and have your friend pour it on your head on camera, here’s a few things you should know first.
Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – ALS as it’s commonly known – is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Basically, you lose all control of your body while your brain continues to function. There is no cure for the fatal disease at this time.
The challenge’s origins stem from various sources and dates; the earliest form of the challenge appeared last year in the form of the “Cold Water Challenge” used to raise money for cancer research.
Eventually, the challenge evolved to the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the ALS Association became involved.
However, the thing that most people seem to forget is that you still donate money no matter what.
Here’s a quick rundown on the rules: Within 24 hours of being challenged, participants are to video record themselves in continuous footage.
First, they are to announce their acceptance of the challenge followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water. The bucket is then to be lifted overhead and poured over the participant’s head. Then the participant can call out a challenge to other people to do the same or donate $100. The participants still must donate any amount of money they wish under $100, because that’s the point. To raise money for ALS research.
Megan Henderson, from Dave Moore Ford, said about the challenge, “We wanted to help out. It’s for a good cause.”
And three tractors showed up with their huge shovels full of ice water for the car dealership.
“Aztec Chevrolet challenged us, and they only had one tractor, so we decided to go big or go home, Texas style,” Henderson said.
Rose Cavazos, from the Paul Baca, Jr. State Farm Insurance office, also participated in the fundraiser along with the other office workers.
“We wanted to raise awareness about ALS,” Cavazos said. “We decided to do it on our own to call out other State Farm agents to do the same. All the people we called out did that day or the next morning.
“It went well; we had a lot of positive responses.”
Both local businesses donated money to the ALS Association as well.
The challenge also has been successful at raising awareness for ALS. The association has said that they have more than 300,000 new donors and, on Aug. 18, announced that it had received $15.6 million in donations compared to $1.8 million during the same time period (July 29 to Aug. 18) last year.
The total as of print is now at $31.5 million in donations to the ALS Association compared to $1.9 million raised during the same time period last year.
That’s a pretty hefty raise.
So, whether or not you think the challenge is silly or are just waiting for someone to challenge you, the bottom line is that the challenge is working.
Good thing it’s happening during the hot Texas summer.
Don’t forget when you upload your videos to social media sights, tag them as follows: #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge or #strikeoutals.
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5207 or at Paul@stxscene.com.