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Taking on the Ice Bucket Challenge

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 15 2014 05:10:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 15 2014 05:49:59 PM CDT

Have you taken the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Have you taken the Ice Bucket Challenge? It's become a social media movement that many are hoping leads to a cure for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

It starts with a bucket of ice water and ends on the heads of those wanting to raise awareness of ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Named for the baseball legend, the progressive neurodegenerative disease affects 30,000 people nationally and has no known cure.

The Ice Bucket Challenge gained popularity a few months ago thanks to a former Boston College baseball player.

Participants either take the challenge or pony up $100 to an ALS charity.

The videos are now viral. 69 News own Eve Tannery has even been in the icy mix.

And the 69 News weekend sunrise crew, along with several local mayors, are set to take the challenge too.

What kind of reporter would I be if I didn't take the challenge? Which I did, with a little help from my too excited wife.

But is this making a difference? Or is this a way for people to advocate but not donate?

"It is creating a difference. ALS Association in Philadelphia and nationally seeing a drastic difference in donations," said Dawn Spencer, whose sister was diagnosed with ALS nine years ago.

According to the ALS Association donations over the last month are at 9.5 million dollars, compared to 1.6 million dollars during the same time last year. A spokesman attributed the spike directly to the challenge.

"Will hopefully lead to a cure for ALS is my hope. But also with MS. Parkinson's and so many nuro muscular diseases could benefit by a breakthrough in research," Spencer said.

There's also 185-thousand new donors for the national ALS walk held in October. So even after the ice melts, ALS awareness still has plenty of legs.