When Georgia Gwinnett College Director of Athletics Dr. Darin S. Wilson accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a social media trend that went viral over the summer, he pledged to donate all proceeds from the Grizzly women’s soccer match against Faulkner, which totaled over $500, to The ALS Association Georgia Chapter in Atlanta.
“I wanted to try and do more than just get a bucket of ice water dumped on me,” Wilson said. “Our women’s soccer team started the challenge on campus, and we felt like it would make sense to choose their home opener as an opportunity to raise money for such a good cause.”
The Ice Bucket Challenge started this past July as a way of increasing both fundraising and awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS has yet to be cured and those diagnosed experience rapid degeneration of muscle and develop problems speaking, swallowing and breathing. From the onset of the disease, the average survival rate is between two and five years.
“The Ice Bucket Challenge catapulted us to new fundraising heights,” said Lizzy Melton, who serves as the special events coordinator for The ALS Association Georgia Chapter. “Thanks to generous donors like Grizzly Athletics, we will be to increase support to multi-disciplinary ALS clinics, expand programs and services, and increase outreach and education across Georgia.”
“The mission of The ALS Association is to find the cause of the disease and discover a cure through global, cutting-edge research,” Melton continued. “The ALS Association also serves to empower people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing compassionate care and support. Since the Ice Bucket Challenge started on July 29, 2014, The ALS Association has received $115 million in donations.”