The Ice Bucket Challenge continues to bring in huge donations and raise awareness for ALS with it’s social media presence. In case you haven’t heard of it, the Challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise money and ALS awareness. People can either accept the Challenge or make a donation to an ALS Charity of their choice, or do both. The Challenge has been accepted by many actors, famous athletes from all major sports and even many of the Presidents. It hit the local scene too, in local schools, fire stations and neighborhoods too. Last week my 13 year old daughter was challenged to the Challenge from friends in school and I doused her with a bucket of ice water. Guess what, then she turned around and Challenged me. Then I turned around and Challenged our ASG work team. Hmm…did everyone finish the Challenge yet? A number of my co-workers participated and challenged their friends and family. It continues on and on. While it is somewhat of a media sensation, it also has done what it set out to; raise money and awareness of the debilitating disease even to young kids. That’s what I like about it and what a great way for kids to learn about charity and a terrible illness. Instagram and Facebook are full of Challenges and I get that some people are just doing it because everyone else is, but I’m impressed by all the kids learning more about the disease and donating to a charity. I’ve seen parents douse their kids or like me, I doused my daughter and then she doused me. This did not happen without some discussion with her about the disease and also about donating to charities. We chose to do both, donate and get ice water dumped on us. Think back to when you were 13, would you have taken the time or effort to be concerned about something like ALS or donate to a charity. I don’t think I would have, but the donations just keep pouring in. As of today donations have reached almost $94M compared to $2M last year. Impressive! I initially thought the Challenge was a marketing campaign created by the Marketing Director at ALS and I thought wow, that marketing person had an AHA moment. The situation is even better than that. It started on July 29 by Pete Frates, along with his family who posted the challenge on Facebook and Twitter and it just exploded. When you’re doused with the ice water, you get a few seconds of numbness which is what people with ALS deal with everyday. Frates, 29, has lived with ALS since 2012. A former Division 1 college athlete with Boston College Baseball, Frates tirelessly spreads awareness of Lou Gehrig’s disease. In case you don’t know, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and no life-prolonging treatments for the disease. Like Pete most people get this disease at a young age. Many corporations are also getting in on the challenge. Today as a part-time employee of Vail Resorts I received our corporate newsletter and read that Vail Resorts accepted the ice bucket challenge from Aspen Ski Company. The entire Executive Committee and leaders from across the Company took the plunge for ALS into the Keystone Lodge & Spa swimming pool ( a self made ice bucket). Vail Resorts donated $100 per participating employee to total $25,000 for ALS and all this in honor of a VR Northstar employee Matt Reeder who was diagnosed with the disease in 2011. Then of course Vail Resorts challenged a few of their competitors: Intrawest, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Mammoth Ski Area. I personally don’t know anyone with ALS, but I was inspired to participate. Donating to a cause that hopes to find a cure for this debilitating disease and save lives is why I chose to participate. The Challenge has increased awareness of ALS and I have also heard that it has increased donations to many other charities that work tirelessly to find cures for diseases that people die from every day. My hope is that you’ve been inspired by the Challenge. If you haven’t been challenged, consider yourself officially challenged to the “Ice Bucket Challenge”. Go to www.alsa.org to donate or donate to the charity of your choice. Just do something to help someone else today. And so it continues!