The Ice Bucket Challenge is splashing down records for the ALS Association, with the viral campaign now raising $70 million with no signs of slowing down.
The viral campaign, in which people respond to challenges to dump a bucket of ice water on their head and also make a donation to the ALS association, is believed to have been launched by pro golfer Chris Kennedy in Sarasota, Florida, to support his wife’s cousin.
The campaign was picked up by members of the Boston College baseball team in support of Pete Frates, a 29-year-old former player who has ALS.
The campaign has since exploded, with a number of athletes, actors, and even politicians joining in. The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised a reported $70 million since July 29, including $10 million on Thursday alone. In the same period last year, the ALS Association raised just $2.5 million, officials note.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is also expanding the number of donors to the cause, with the ALS Association noting that there are 1.3 million new people donating this year.
In announcing the $70 million total, the ALS Association also gave a rundown of exactly what it was doing with the funds:
“The ALS Association’s mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. In addition, The Association’s public policy efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation’s Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS.”
While the Ice Bucket Challenge has kicked off some debate — including whether it is taking away attention and money from similarly good causes — no one can argue with the results. At the pace it’s going, the Ice Bucket Challenge will pass the $100 million mark sometime before the end of the month.