Print this story

"Ice Bucket Challenge" donation numbers pass ten million.

POSTED August 16, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: You’ve seen it, you probably did it already but understanding just how remarkable the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has been will make you shiver more than that bucket of cold stuff ever did.

The challenge, being taking all around the world, involves a pretty simply way of cooling off during the dog days of August (although you would not know that from the temperatures in T-Town today ,60’s) by dumping a bucket of ice water over your head while challenging another person to do the same while committing to donate money to ALS.

It’s all being done to help fight ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

We have seen our share of internet crazes over the past decade (Lebroning, cat’s singing, horrible dancing, reality shows on-line, etc) but this may just be the one that does the most for folks who need the assistance daily and badly.

ALS strikes the victims motor neurons, making it harder and harder to control all movement. At present, there is no cure for this disease.

In Torrington, we lost a great friend of the community on October 12, 2102 when Tim Considine, just 49, lost his battle with this illness.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was born (depending on what you read) by 29-year old Peter Frates, an ex-Boston College baseball player who came down with ALS.

On July 15, the craze was born and it has a huge head of steam (sorry, but a head of steam does make the water less bone chilling) as we pass the one month mark.

According to Stacey Rahl, the Care Services Coordinator for the Connecticut chapter which is located in Milford, the dollar amount raised nationwide has surpassed the $10 million dollar mark.

“It has brought smiles to all of the families we work with,” Rahl said. “They are watching all the different ways people are taking the challenge and it is also helping us provide even better services to our patients.”

The cost of caring for just one ALS patient for one year is a staggering $300,000 per year.

200 people are being treated right in here in Connecticut alone. That a big nut to crack but the donations keep pouring in.

What’s most encouraging to Rahl is the large number of new donors that have become part of the movement.

“So far, we have had over 150,000 new donors,” Rahl said. “Just the visibility that this has created has been incredible.”

All seven members of her office in Milford have taken the challenge with their director Mike Burke getting wet multiple times due to media requests.

All monies donated from Connecticut to the Milford chapter stay right here to help take care of the 200 families affected.

Whether it’s providing transportation or medical equipment to the patients, this kind of unprecedented generosity towards ALS is one that is welcome by any who have to face it every day.

It’s rare we all get to do something that makes you feel part of something bigger than ourselves which actually helps people we may never know.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has made all of us a little better people than before we got wet.

Every 90-minutes, an American dies from ALS.

Let’s keep those donations rolling in.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here