Students, staff accept the ALS challenge

Founded in 1985, the non-profit ALS Association has been raising an average of $1.7 million in pledges for the past few years. But a recent social media craze has contributed to a huge spike in donations.
The ice bucket challenge starts with a nomination to pour a bucket of ice water over your head. If you accept, you donate $10 to the ALS Association. If you don’t, the donation amount rises to $100.
The AlS ice bucket challenge has been trending all over social media networks in the past couple of months. This year alone, over $13.3 million dollars was raised, and approximately 3.7 million ice bucket challenge videos were posted by students, teachers, celebrities around the world.
“The challenge allows normal people to experience for just a second, what people with ALS feel every day,” Pete Frates, a former Blue Sox outfielder who is currently suffering from ALS, said.
He posted his ice bucket challenge online and shared his story with the world. Soon enough, social media exploded with the videos.
Celebrities and athletes across the globe are joining the cause. People like Lebron James and Oprah Winfrey donated money to a cause unknown to many not too long ago.

“Its not just getting water dumped on your head,” junior Phillip Lowel said. “It’s raising awareness and a whole lot of money for a great cause.”
Lowel is one of many students at Utica who has done the ice bucket challenge. Unlike some, he donated to ALS after he did the challenge.
One of the more popular videos that were posted via Instagram was by Charlie Sheen. Pretending like there was water in the bucket, Sheen poured $10,000 over his head. He then donated the 10k to the ALS Foundation.
“Let’s face it,” Sheen said after completing the challenge, “ice is going to melt but this ten thousand dollars in cash is actually going to help people.”
“I thought it was awesome of him to do something like that,” junior Donovan Pipitone said. “That money is going to help a lot of people.”
Many other popular celebrities are joining in on the internet trend. Celebrities and athletes such as Michael Jordan, Miguel Cabrera, Eminem, and Rihanna.
Even principal Thomas Lietz posted his own ice bucket challenge in honor of his best friend, who has ALS.
“At first I thought it was silly,” Lietz said. “Then a friend of mine who has ALS told me how moved he had been, so I posted one.”
Lietz said he donated a “pretty reasonable” amount to the ALS association.
According to PBS, approximately 30,000 people suffer from ALS, also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, at any given time in the United States. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is a disease that affects nerve cells connected to the brain, the eventual result is paralysis, loss of speech, and loss of basic functions.


“It seems like everyone at Utica has made one of those videos,” sophomore Slater Lutz said. ‘It’s really heartwarming to see our whole community join the rest of the world in beating ALS.”