BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness in the fight against ALS continues to be a huge success, according to the ALS Association.
A spokesperson for the national office in Washington, D.C. told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Tuesday a total of $4 million has been raised nationwide since July 29.
Last year, during the same time period, the association had raised $1.1 million.
Since July 29, there have been 71,000 donors to the national headquarters alone. That’s up from 25,000 at the same time last year.
The months-old movement has been a major hit online, since friends and relatives of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates used it to raise awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Frates was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, also known as ALS, in 2012.
Frates, 29, is now paralyzed, eats through a feeding tube and cannot talk.
(Visit his website petefrates.com for more information.)
The challenge has gone all the way up to the White House, with Ethel Kennedy challenging President Obama. The president will make a donation, but won’t dump a bucket of ice on his head.
“Just to have him even acknowledge (it) is insane really,” Frates’ wife Julie told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Tuesday.
“We keep saying it’s the best kind of crazy.”
The fundraising phenomenon asks those willing to douse themselves to challenge others to do the same within 24 hours.
If they don’t, they must make a donation to an ALS charity.
Each person who participates nominates more friends, who nominate more friends, who nominate still more friends, which explains why the trend has exploded.
On Tuesday, Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy Alben completed the ice bucket challenge and nominated state police in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut and Louisiana.
View State Police Ice Bucket Challenge on YouTube
If you want to make a donation, visit webma.alsa.org
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Joe Mathieu talks to Julie Frates