BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness in the fight against ALS has been a huge success.
That’s according to the ALS Association’s national president, Barbara Newhouse.READ MORE: Thousands Honor Slain Danvers Teacher Colleen Ritzer At Annual 5K In Andover
She told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday that the challenge, which has spread across the country the last several days, has raised $168,000 online nationally this week so far.
Last year, during the same time period, Newhouse said they had raised $14,000.
The $168,000 total will actually grow when Friday’s donations and contributions to local chapters across the nation are eventually added in.
“Clearly this has just really taken off,” she told WBZ, adding that she’s been in the industry for 38 years and what she’s seen this week has been “crazy.”
The months-old movement has taken the Boston area by storm this week, 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.READ MORE: Allegiant Airplane Blows Out Tire After Rough Landing At Logan
(Visit his website petefrates.com for more information.)
Newhouse said she’s extremely grateful to him and his family for starting the challenge.
“The ALS Association just couldn’t be happier with the visibility that this is bringing to our disease, ALS, and the ALS movement,” she told WBZ.
“This money means a lot to our research program. It also means a lot in the chapters to the day-to-day care of those living with ALS.”
If you want to make a donation, visit webma.alsa.org
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports