Storm Team 4Caster Jesse Ritka takes the 'ALS Ice Bucket Challenge'

CREATED Aug 13, 2014

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MILWAUKEE – Aaron Rodgers has done it, Ryan Braun and several Brewers are on board, and Washington County Administrator Josh Shoemann just challenged Governor Scott Walker to get soaked for ALS. 

The “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” is sending shivers up the spines of families, friends and famous people across the nation.

The trend that has people trembling has Executive Director for the Wisconsin ALS Chapter Melanie Roach-Bekos ecstatic, “It is both exciting and crazy and we are thrilled, this campaign is soaking the nation and bringing us the awareness that we have desperately been seeking the last 75 years. Finally we have the attention of the nation and are really having an impact on this fight.”

Donations to ALS were nearly frozen but thanks to a simple dousing of ice cold water, the money has started to pour in.  In the last two weeks more than $1.35 million has been donated nation-wide to the ALS Association, in that period last year they only received $22,000 in donations. 

Such an increase has been witnessed locally as well, Roach-Bekos estimates that the ALS Wisconsin Chapter has had nearly $3,000 in just the last week, where normally only a few hundred dollars would be raised in a week, “We are having a huge impact in terms of the dollars coming in, the calls, the coverage, it's huge and it is making a major difference for Wisconsin ALS patients and their families.”

But she hopes that the focus on ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, doesn’t melt away under all this attention, “I hope its not being missed.  It is a disease that paralyzes the entire body until you can no longer breathe, it robs you of the ability to walk, talk, eat, hug, things that we take for granted so it is a disease that absolutely needs to find answers, to find a cure.”

Raising awareness by lowering the temperature through a friendly challenge, “I would challenge each of your viewers out there to do the ice bucket challenge and nominate 3 people and I promise you together, we will find the answers for the ALS mystery and make a major difference in this world.”

You can donate to the ALS WisconsinChapter to help local residents and families with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.