Millions Raised In Challenge for ALS

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EUGENE, Ore. — The “Ice Bucket Challenge” is getting a warm reception from people all across the country and advocates for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease research say it has done more than they could have ever imagined. As of Monday, the ALS Association has received more than $15 million in donations compared to $1.8 million during the same time period last year thanks to this latest social media craze.

An ice, cold bucket challenge is sweeping the nation and social media.

Mary Rebar, ALS Association for Oregon and SW Washington Chapter Regional Services Coordinator, says, “It’s gone viral. I’ve seen it on Facebook, on Twitter, on TV, the amount of celebrities and politicians oh-my-gosh.”

And all the hoopla is for a good cause. How it works is people are doused with ice water and then nominate others to do the same within 24 hours. They then post the video to social media. Those who refuse the challenge are then asked to donate to an organization associated with ALS.

Rebar says, “If this is going to help us raise money to fund our research, if it’s raising awareness, fantastic.”

So far, it’s clearly doing both. Millions of dollars donated from existing and more than 300,000 new donors, including the Andress family in Eugene.

David Andress says, “Both my wife and I were firefighters, so we understand support of everything.”

And that’s what ALS research advocates say it’s all about, support and awareness for all.

If dumping a container of ice cold water on yourself doesn’t really appeal to you, you can still help in other ways. A Walk to Defeat ALS will be held on September 14th at Alton Baker Park in Eugene. For more information, click here.

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