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Have you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge? It is the latest phenomenon that’s spreading ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or “Lou Gehrig’s disease”) Awareness.

Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge began as a competitive pursuit among professional golfers to draw awareness to ALS. Now the phenomenon has swept North American social media and is translating into millions of dollars in new donations to battle the disease.

The ALS Association said it has received $15.6 million in donations since July 29, an eight-fold spike over the $1.8 million donated during the same period last year. The association said this summer’s donations have come from existing donors as well as more than 300,000 new donors.

How does it work? Participants videotape themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads, post the video online and challenge three others to do the same within 24 hours, or they are encouraged to make a $100 US donation to ALS.

How did it all start?

Chris Kennedy, a golfer in Sarasota, Fla., was nominated by a friend to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which at the time, had nothing to do with ALS. The campaign was not tied to any specific charity, and participants would select a charity of their choice for donations. Kennedy’s friend had selected a charity that benefits a young child with cancer in the area. Kennedy, passing the challenge along, then selected ALS because a relative is suffering from the disease. Kennedy nominated his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband Anthony is the one suffering from ALS. Kennedy posted this video on July 15—what appears to be the first instance in which the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS were linked.

How do you feel about the #IceBucketChallenge? Have you participated? Do you know anyone who has? Take a look at these celebrity ice bucket challenges 🙂

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