On Wednesday, August 13th, Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) joined thousands of concerned individuals across the nation by partaking in the unique event referred to as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Channel 23 morning anchor Aaron Wilson had extended the challenge to the Senator to dump a bucket of ice water over his head to raise awareness about ALS and encourage donations to fight the disease.
“A small amount of discomfort to shed some light on this disease is a small price to pay to help raise awareness,” said Sen. Syverson. “This was a creative idea that helped raise awareness and research money for a vicious disease that robs otherwise healthy people of their quality of life.”
In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally “soaked” the nation. Everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake has poured a bucket of ice water over his or her head and challenged others to do the same or make a donation to fight ALS within twenty-four hours.
Between July 29 and August 13, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from those people who have been doused, made a donation, or both. Contributions further The Association’s mission to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for people living with the disease.
"We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impact viral initiative."
According to experts, only about half of the general public is familiar with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Ice Bucket Challenge appears to be making a profound difference. Since July 29, The Association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.