The Ice Bucket Challenge is bringing people together coast-to-coast on social media, along with raising some serious cash for the ALS association.
On August 2, the #IceBucketChallenge had a mere 159 mentions on Twitter, according to Topsy, with the first few mentions coming from @BCBirdBall and @BCHockeyNews. These first tweets were sent to support former Boston College baseball player Peter Frates.
Frates suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerves that control voluntary muscle movement, according to ALS.org.
From there, a few big name sports stars in Boston picked up on the trend.
On August 4, @NHLBruins tweeted Torey Krug’s Ice Bucket Challenge. Krug then challenged his teammate Brad Marchand, Marchand challenged others, and the hashtag quickly snowballed from there, gaining more than 88,000 mentions on Twitter alone in the last 30 days.
“The thing we’re most excited about, before this challenge, most people did not know what ALS was, now we’re reaching so many people,” Lynn Aarson, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the ALS association, told The Times.
According to Aarson, the popularity of the challenge is paying off, both by spreading the word about the disease, and by raising staggering amounts of money. Aarson told The Times, the Massachusetts ALS chapter has raised $394,362, accounting for a 1,429% increase from the same period in 2013.
Nationally, the ALS association has raised $5,733,946 since July 29 alone, nearly five times as much as the same time period in 2013.
Now of course, The Boston Bruins aren’t alone in their icy glory. Check out a few more athletes, coaches and owners taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge below: