The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS is pouring into the Berkshires.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The "Ice Bucket Challenge," is a new phenomenon that has hit across social media networks and gone viral; all to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
And Berkshire County is part of the trend.
ALS, also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, causing patients to slowly lose control of all motor skills.
Former Division I, Boston College baseball player, Pete Frates started the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for this disease that he was diagnosed with in 2012.
Since Frates started the challenge, which has gone viral across the country, the ALS organization has raised $168,000 online this week, according to CBS Boston.
And on Monday, 86-year-old Ethel Kennedy challenged President Obama.
Over the past couple of days the Ice Bucket Challenge made its way to Berkshire County, filling Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds with videos all weekend long, Aug. 9-10.
Participants of the challenge must fill a bucket of water, pour a bag of ice into it, and then proceed to pour the bucket over their head. These videos are then posted to social media networks such as, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #icebucketchallenge and #strikeoutALS.
Some may ask exactly how is dumping a bucket of ice cold water over your head helping the cause. What Frates and his family want is to raise awareness, and that’s exactly what this challenge has begun to do. In the past week it has raised 12 times the amount of money than it did last year at this time according to the ALS organization.
"I think it's brought a lot of awareness to what ALS is," said Taylor DeSanty of North Adams. "I have heard of the disease, but this challenge made me what to find out more."
DeSanty participated in the challenge herself and then nominated others to take part; an ongoing trend that is now making its way through Berkshire County.
To find out more about the cause or to donate, visit alsa.org.