The Ice Bucket Challenge is a fundraising gimmick gone viral on social media, with participants posting video of themselves getting doused by ice water in a roundabout fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Participants may donate to the cause, but once drenched, they also become challengers, tapping friends who must donate $100, and/or go soak their own heads.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal degenerative disease that eventually shuts down the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle movement. There is no known cause or cure.
Thus far, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised nearly $23 million for research. Billionaire Bill Gates, former President George W. Bush, actor Tom Cruise, and singer Taylor Swift are among the celebrity players. Locally, regular folks and politicians alike have taken up the challenge. (On Sunday August 24th at 2:00 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the Main Street Oyster House, Del. Wayne Norman, Carol Kiple from the Republican Central Committee, Councilman Dick “Coach” Slutzky, and House of Delegates candidates Teresa Reilly and Michael Blizzard plan a public dunking and passing of the hat to help fight ALS)
Is the Ice Bucket Challenge more about self-promotion than charity?
Either way, its success is sure to spawn copycats. So, what’s next? Poke a pencil in your eye to promote literacy?