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Ice Bucket Challenge Raises Big Bucks for ALS Research

Amherst, NY (WBEN) - Are you ready to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Thousands of people have created a social media sensation by filming themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads, all in the name of ALS awareness.

Mark Zuckerberg, The Rock, Justin Timberlake, and Chris Christie have all participated in the challenge, but what point are they trying to make?

The goal is to raise awareness and money for ALS research.

ALS,(Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) perhaps better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death. There is no cure for the disease.

Kathy Lahey , Executive Director of the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter says that the Ice Bucket Challenge has brought more attention to the disease than anything since Lou Gehrig's farewell speech 75 years ago.

"We've been absolutely overwhelmed," Lahey said about the response to the Challenge. "It's been phenomenal in supporting the ALS association and all its chapters, getting the word out, and brining long-awaited awareness to the disease of ALS."

Since July 29th, around $10 Million has been donated to the ALS Association and its chapters, compared to about $1.5 Million during the same time period last year. Lahey says members of the ALS Association from around the country will meet this week to figure out how to use the extra funds.

So what do you need to know before taking the challenge?

"Use lots of water," Lahey says. "If you use too much ice you'll get clobbered by some ice chunks. You might want to pick a nice day, thank goodness this whole viral trend began in the summer rather than the winter. Also, if people would think about, when they do the challenge and make a donation, if they would consider donating to the local chapter."

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 Kathy Lahey, ALS Assoc
Prof. Robert Frank, Cornell Univ.
You can make a donation HERE.

If you're brave enough to take the Ice Bucket Challenge, be sure to mention ALS, make a small donation, and share your video with us on twitter @Newsradio930 or @BMaz1

Related Stories:
Jon Bon Jovi isn't averse to taking ice cold showers - at least when it's for a good cause. And if it lets him hobnob with an NFL owner at a time when he wants to buy a team , so much the better. 

The rocker accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge to benefit the ALS Foundation in the fight against Lou Gehrig's disease.   And fellow New Jersey native, Gov. Chris Christie, along with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft did the honors.

Amid much skepticism about whether he would keep the team in Buffalo, Bon Jovi is in talks to buy the Buffalo Bills-- and if his bid were accepted Kraft would be one of those voting on whether to allow him NFL ownership,

Dressed in a white T-shirt and dark shorts, Bon Jovi stood in a grassy field last week and braced himself. Christie and Kraft stepped up, tilted a large bucket above his head and let the icy waters flow. Everyone came away delighted, even the sopping wet rock star.

In keeping with the fundraiser's protocol, Bon Jovi nominated three more people to take the challenge or donate $100.

Christie posted the entire videotaped performance on Facebook  (BELOW) . Kraft followed up by having a team bucket challenge (above left) with the Patriots challenging The Bills, Dolphins and Jets, AFC rivals all

A 27-year-old man died in a Nantucket diving accident, hours after he raised $100,000 for a Lou Gehrig's disease charity in honor of his friend who inspired the ice-bucket challenge sensation.

Nantucket Police tell The Boston Globe that Corey Griffin dove into the water from the "Juice Guys" building at around 2 a.m. Saturday. An off-duty lifeguard was nearby and recovered Griffin, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Griffin's family says he was friends with former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, whose family and friends launched the ice-bucket challenge to raise awareness and funds for charity. Twenty-nine-year-old Frates was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, also known as ALS, in 2012. The movement has taken off around the country recently. Griffin, of Scituate, had been fundraising in Nantucket.

Filed Under :  
Locations : Amherst
People : Chris ChristieJustin TimberlakeLou GehrigMark Zuckerberg
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