Grand Junction takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. A new type of fundraising campaign is taking social media by storm, a watery ice storm that is, delivered via a bucket.

"It was very refreshing, especially this summer. It's been hot," said Joe Burtard of the Ute Water Conservancy District. "I don't need any more coffee for the day, I'm definitely awake."

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS has thousands of people pouring icy pails of water over their heads to raise awareness and money for the ALS Association.

ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"When I was nominated the first time, I had to go to the website and I kind of found myself doing my own individual research," Burtard said.

Adam Cochran, a social media expert and Colorado Mesa University professor, said this type of campaign has all the components to go as viral as it has with its emotional elements, but it also has another ingredient to help it continue to spread.

"There's a little bit of an element of guilt if you don't participate," Cochran said. "So people once they've shared it because they thought it was fun and interesting, the people who receive it kind of feel obligated to participate as well."

The ALS Association has received $4 million in donations in the past two weeks, compared to the usual $1 million in the same time period.

Colorado's ALS chapter has also seen an increase in donations at a time when donations are usually down for the summer months, according to Pamela Rush-Negri, the chapter's executive director.

To donate to the ALS Association, visit the link to the right.

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