Challenge accepted! Staff senators help raise ALS awareness

At the beginning of the semester, the UALR Staff Senate accepted the ALS #IceBucketChallenge from Chancellor Joel Anderson, and three senators were doused with freezing water.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. This progressive degeneration eventually leads to their death.

To bring attention to this devastating affliction and to encourage donation to the ALS Association, the #icebucketchallenge was created. Nominated participants are encouraged to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and nominating others to do the same. The stipulation is that those nominated have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of charitable donation. Pete Frates and his family are credited with taking the campaign viral in mid-July. Frates, 29, has lived with ALS since 2012, and he has worked with The ALS Association’s Massachusetts Chapter.

As of September 17, 2014 the ALS Association has received over $100 million in donations as compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year. So this new form of social media marketing and peer-to peer challenge actually makes a real difference to one of the largest not-for-profit organizations that is leading the charge against this debilitating neural affliction. For information about what the ALS Association intends to do with the funds raised, UALR Public Radio has an NPR interview with Barbara Newhouse, the group’s president and CEO.

Watch videos of Staff Senate and other UALR groups take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge here:

Watch the ALS Association “Thank You” video:

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