BEVERLY (CBS) – The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which drove more Internet traffic than the Super Bowl and the Oscars combined is back this summer! Beverly’s Pete Frates was the inspiration for the viral videos of the year.
Pete and his family say last year’s explosion of goodwill was only the first wave.READ MORE: Westford Academy To Change 'Grey Ghost' Mascot After Complaints
“It’s just become a social phenomenon – no one expects that to happen,” Julie Frates, Pete’s wife says. “We still kind of haven’t wrapped our minds around it.”
In four weeks last summer, ALS – the disease always known as Lou Gehrig’s, suddenly had a new team captain for a cure: Boston College baseball star Pete Frates.
Presidents and Patriots, celebrities and squealing kids participated.
A bucket of ice and a phone and you were part of it. Suddenly, a dire diagnosis was infused with joy.
“Is there one moment out of all of it that you think boy, I’m always going to remember that?” WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben asked.
“When Bill Gates did it we both kind of were like whoa, we’re not messing around, he’s the real deal,” Julie said.
“What do other ALS patients and their families tell you about what this means to them, what you’ve done for them?” Ebben asked.
“For Pete to be their spokesperson for our family to work for this disease I think it means everything to them,” Julie said.READ MORE: More Than 1,200 Mass. Kids Test Positive For COVID-19 This Week
The Ice Bucket Challenge is now the biggest medical fundraising campaign in history. Seventeen million videos were uploaded to Facebook from over 150 countries. $220 million has been raised.
The Frates want people to know the Challenge wasn’t a one shot deal. “Our slogan is every August until a cure,” Julie said.
“Everything you did last year, bring it on this year!” says Pete’s mom, Nancy Frates.
At their Beverly home, Pete’s mom reflects on how fast ALS became their lives.
“It’s only been three years for Pete and now Pete’s on life support,” Nancy says. “I mean three years ago he was hitting home runs all over Boston.”
The Ice Bucket Challenge just won ten international awards in Cannes for advertising and media campaigns — including the prestigious Grand Prix for Good.
The challenge runs July 31 through August.
So get your buckets ready and don’t forget the hashtag: #EveryAugustUntilACure.MORE NEWS: 7-Year-Old Girl Grazed By Bullet On Talbot Ave. In Dorchester