By Maddison Cervantes
The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS Association has unleashed a new tactic of
reaching a younger crowd in an attempt to spread awareness, simply by what has proven to be a lot of fun.
Through Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, people everywhere are becoming aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and its cause, Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS.
KSAT 12 Breaking News, a news station based out of San Antonio Texas, posted the guidelines of the infamous challenge.
To join the cause, all that you have to do is pour a bucket of ice water over your head, challenge a friend to do the same and then post it on whatever social media site you prefer. If you are nominated and the challenge is not met, a $100 donation is encouraged.
The goal is for donations to be made whether ice is involved or not.
Former Boston College baseball player, Pete Frates, is being credited for starting the challenge. Frates has been diagnosed with ALS and has been struggling with it since 2012.
“ALS gradually damages nerve cells that control muscles,” Marc Knoll from trendblog.net, a site devoted to the latest news in technology, stated. “It makes people lose control over their muscles, meaning they slowly lose the ability to walk, speak, eat and breath.”
Knoll explains that there is no treatment for this disease and the only drug approved simply just buys a little more time. People with this disease have a life expectancy of two to five years.
“The purpose of the challenge is to raise money and awareness for ALS,” Knoll said.
All over the country from celebrities to athletes to college students, the Ice Bucket Challenge is taking the nation by storm.
ABC News stated that since July 29, the ALS Association has raised more than $53.3 million from 1.1 million donors, nation wide. This amount exceeds the $40 million the National Institutes of Health expects to spend on ALS research this year.
Every other YouTube video consists of a new twist of creativity involving the challenge, especially when coming from college students who are willing to do just about anything.
Some students, such as fraternity men, find it humorous to mix it up when participating in the challenge.
With the use of props, dressing up in amusing costumes or opting out the ice water for Coors Light, every YouTube video that is posted has another one right on its tail in attempt to garner the most attention.
With as much attention as the Ice Bucket Challenge is getting from universities, the videos of college students dumping water on their heads are adding up. Therefore, their money is only going towards the supplies.
“Everyone has a bucket lying around somewhere, and ice costs around fifteen cents a pound,” Junior Dylan Brownell said. “Donating would have been cool, but college kids have no money.”
The majority of college students may be aware of the ALS Association and its affiliation with the challenge, though it does not seem to be the reason for their participation. Social media has become the instigator when it comes to getting college students on board.
“Everyone likes doing something that will get them a lot of likes on Instagram,” Brownell said.
Brownell confirms that college students may have a grasp on the meaning behind the challenge, yet they participate for the sake of entertainment.
“Plus, dumping ice on yourself is more fun, and basically free,” Brownell said. “It’s for a good cause so that’s cool too.”
Maddison Cervantes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.