How The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Became a Phenomenon

August 21, 2014 at 11:48 PM

SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ -- Awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) had long been eclipsed by physical ailments, such as various cancers and heart disease, until a left-handed slugger contracted the disease and could no longer play baseball. 

ALS, often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," has been brought to the nation's collective forefront by the friends of former Boston College captain Pete Frates, who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon.  ESPN told Frates' story and how athletes, including Peyton Manning and Sydney Crosby, and celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, propelled the campaign in this seven-minute video feature.  Pete's mission to Strike Out ALS has led to the most successful ALS fundraising and awareness campaign since Lou Gehrig's famous "Luckiest Man" speech at Yankee Stadium 75 years ago this summer.

So why have people been dumping buckets of water over their heads and videotaping it for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter?  Fanwood resident Raul Vega was inspired not only because of social media, but also by a family connection.

Sign Up for E-News

"My grandmother was diagnosed with ALS early this year and she passed away on July 4th," Vega said.  "This (video) is for her and all who suffer from the disease."

Local businesses have gotten into the act, including Nick's Pizza, which posted this video on its Instagram account:

As of Thursday, August 21, the ALS Association has received $41.8 million in donations compared to $2.1 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 21). The donations came from existing donors, as well as 739,275 new donors, an overwhelming majority of them participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

What if you simply can't motivate yourself to dump a gallon of cold water over your head?  Here's the link to the ALS Association's donation page.  The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters.

Five Facts About ALS:

1.       Ninety percent of patients with adult-onset ALS have no family history of the disease

2.       ALS is more common in men and white people

3.       Symptoms are not sudden. In fact, they may be so subtle at first that they often go unnoticed

4.       Although the disease doesn’t affect a person’s intelligence, people with ALS may suffer from depression or lapses of memory

5.       There is no cure, more research is needed

 (source: ABC News)

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Plainfield Resident Arrested, Charged in Connection with Thursday Night Death

January 14, 2017

PLAINFIELD, NJ - A Plainfield resident has been arrested and charged for his alleged role in an altercation that resulted in the death of 34-year-old Oscar Isaac Ramos Lopez  this week, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Saturday.

Jamie Castillo Castro, 24, is charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter in connection with the killing.

Plainfield Police ...

New Jersey Wins Under Lance Mental Health Law

January 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. ---  Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) announced that New Jersey has been selected to participate in a demonstration program to expand access to community mental health services and strengthen the quality of care for those living with mental and behavioral health issues. The demonstration program was created under Lance’s Excellence in Mental Health Act, which was ...

5 Questions to Ask at an Open House

When you go to your next open house, ask the listing agent these key questions to help you make an informed decision. When a property is hot, a public open house may be your best opportunity for due diligence before submitting an offer. While the hosting agent may not be able to answer all of your questions, there is a lot you can learn.

1. How long has it been on the market?  You may ...

Congresswoman, Your Attendance Is Mandatory, Not Optional.

January 18, 2017

To the editor:

I sent this letter to Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman on her failure to represent us at the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2017. To date, she has not taken the time or extended me the decency to respond.

This makes one wonder, if she and those wo do not want to attend, should resign from their offices, since they refuse to the job we are paying them to ...

Homes That Sold This Week in Scotch Plains-Fanwood

January 15, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Brought to you by Keller Williams Realty, the following is a list of homes that have sold this week in the towns of Fanwood, Scotch Plains and Westfield. (See table below.) This information includes sales that were listed in the Garden State MLS.

Check this weekly update to stay informed about your local real estate market.

The Sold Sisters are a real estate ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, January 22, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, January 22, 4:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant Bar Private Events, Scotch Plains

Grillestone Prime Rib & Dinner Buffet

Food & Drink