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No joke: Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $16.2M for ALS research

"It’s a game changer for the ALS Association."
By Matthew Bradwell   |   Aug. 19, 2014 at 6:33 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Bill Gates improved it, Chris Pratt drank through it and Justin Beiber messed it up.

But beyond the videos, memes and headlines, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has managed to raise over $16 million to aid in the fight against Lou Gehrig's disease.

"It's huge," ALS Association President Barbara Newhouse told TIME Magazine. "It's a game changer for the ALS Association."

Since ALS patient and former college baseball player Pete Frates first started the Ice Bucket Challenge on July 31, the ALS Association reports over $15.6 million in donations, roughly nine times more than what it typically raises over the same time frame. Project ALS, a similar nonprofit, has received nearly $580,000 in donations, ten times its normal fundraising.

"This is an amazing phenomenon," David Hessekiel, president of nonprofit trade association Peer to Peer Professional Forum, told the Wall Street Journal.

"This happened because it touched people, because it's fun, because it's easy, because it's the summer and a great goofy thing to do."
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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