The challenge is pretty simple: You film yourself dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, post it on your social media outlet of choice, and tag specific people to the challenge. The newly nominated then have 24 hours to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads or they are supposed to donate money to an ALS charity of their choice.
The challenge has taken off by any metric you choose, from the google search trends below, to the numerous celebrities and athletes taking part, to the $1.35 million the ALS Foundation has raised from July 29th to August 11th. The non-profit organization received only $22,000 in donations in the same period last year.
Aymotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease as it is known colloquially, is a serious neurodegenerative disease that affects nearly 30,000 Americans. The average survival time is two to five years after diagnosis with only 4% of those afflicted surviving longer than 10 years. The disease's namesake, immortal Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig, died of ALS in 1941 at the age of 37, just two years after his initial diagnosis.
There's obvious criticisms for a charity challenge in which the donation part is the "punishment" and the origin mythology of the challenge seems to be a bit apocryphal, but at the end of the day awareness and money are being raised for a worthy cause. Plus, we got to see NHL free agent and twitter hero (@BizNasty2point0) Paul Bissonnette do this, so that's worth it, right?
But what does this have to do with the NESCAC? you astutely ask. Well, besides the numerous men's ice hockey players that have taken to social media for the cause, several NESCAC coaches have taken the challenge and even everyone's favorite Mighty Duck/Hamilton alum, Guy Hebert, indicated on twitter tonight that he would take a break from making us jealous of his life to pour some ice water on his head for charity.
Just got nominated for ice bucket challenge....#staytuned
— Guy Hebert (@guy_hebert) August 13, 2014
The first coach to accept was 2013 NESCAC coach of the year, Matt Greason. As part of his video, Greason announced that the Bantams charity game for the 2014-15 would be to benefit ALS research. Greason then called out three people, including reigning NESCAC coach of the year, Conn College's Jim Ward. The Camel coach did accept the challenge and posted his freezing cold video on Facebook instead of twitter.
Ice bucket challenge-ALS awareness. You're up @andyrannells @camel005 and Erin Exter @JoeExter http://t.co/cXg0m6ULQETraveling northword to the Pine Tree State, Colby coach Blaise Macdonald tapped his assistant coach, Chris Hall, who promptly dumped a bucket over his head lakeside.
— mattgreason (@mattgreason14) August 7, 2014
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge I nominate @macdangle9 & @chall4431 you have 24 Hours http://t.co/rcK31OHgoh
— Blaise MacDonald (@MacDBlaise) August 8, 2014
Thanks to @MacDBlaise and @heressjohny for nominating me for the #icebucketchallenge #challengeaccepted http://t.co/rwCCfsrkRWhether you dump ice water over your head or not, I nominate all of you to donate to a worthy charity of your choice. If you want to donate wisely, check out charity navigator to make sure altruism is not wasted. And remember, soon those buckets of ice water will turn into actually ice as the start of NESCAC men's ice hockey team activities on November 1st is (just?) 80 days away.
— Chris Hall (@chall4431) August 10, 2014