WASHINGTON: The “Ice Bucket Challenge” viral craze has raised more than $100 million after sweeping the globe since its launch last month, organizers said Friday.
The phenomenally popular stunt — which sees participants being doused in a bucket of ice-cold water before challenging others to take part — was set up to raise awareness and cash about Lou Gehrig’s disease.
A galaxy of celebrities and high-profile personalities have taken part in the challenge, including Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates and even former US president George W. Bush.
The ALS Association, which combats Lou Gehrig’s or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, said that between July 29 and August 29 $100.9 million had been raised in donations — compared with $2.8 million during the same period last year.
“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” ALS Association President and Chief Executive Barbara Newhouse said.
“These funds will be used to fund cutting-edge research as well as care and support to people living with the disease.”
The success of the viral campaign has been driven by its legion of enthusiastic A-list participants from entertainment, sport, politics and business.
Taylor Swift, Shakira, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Matt Damon, Usain Bolt, Gisele Bundchen, Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg, Neymar, Kate Moss and David and Victoria Beckham are just some of the stars to have taken part to date.