Ice Bucket Challenge cools down social media users

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Holly Roth’ 16

Frosty buckets filled to the rim with ice water drenched the sweaty summer bodies of more than a million participants of the renowned Ice Bucket Challenge in July and August.
The intent of the Ice Bucket Challenge was not to cool down participants in the heat of the summer sun, but to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge helped raise over $100 million for The ALS Association. People from all over the world took the challenge, including various celebrities and role models like Former President George W. Bush, Taylor Swift, Oprah, and the faculty of Convent of the Sacred Heart.
 

Holly Roth' 16
Holly Roth’ 16

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurological disease that results in the gradual deterioration and destruction of motor neurons. Motor neurons are nerve cells that are responsible for controlling the voluntary muscles of the body, like the arms, legs, and face. Patients in the later stages of ALS become paralyzed due to the loss of control of their body, according to alsa.org.
“When I was nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge, I researched about ALS and I am very happy that such a successful fundraiser was created. I not only participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, but I also donated to the ALS Association,” senior Stephanie Browne said.
At first, the purpose of the challenge was not to raise awareness for a specific charity. According to slate.com, the original participants made donations to a charity of their choice. Mr. Chris Kennedy, a Sarasota golfer, chose the ALS Association when he was nominated. He then nominated his wife’s cousin, Mrs. Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband, Mr. Anthony Senerchia, suffers from ALS. Mrs. Senerchia completed that challenge July 16, one day after Mr. Kennedy posted his Ice Bucket Challenge to YouTube.
Many people do not know about ALS or what it does to the body. It’s important for people to know this disease does not affect the mind in any way,” Mrs. Senerchia said. “In some ways that is great and in some ways it’s absolutley awful and heartbreaking. It’s great because Anthony is there in mind and heart to watch our wonderful daughter Taya grow. But devastating because he’s totally alert but trapped inside his body as it slowly fails him.”
The Senerchia family’s town of Pelham, New York embraced the challenge as a way of raising awareness for ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge reached other men with ALS including Mr. Patt Quinn of Yonkers, New York and Mr. Pete Frates of Boston, Massachusetts. The support from these men battling ALS helped the campaign become viral, according to time.com.
We’re just so happy this disease is receiving the awareness and exposure it desperately needs. And the generosity of everyone across the world that has not only participated in the challenge but donated has been so inspiring and appreciated,” Mrs. Senerchia said.
– Holly Roth, Staff Writer