If you haven’t been on the internet in the past week or so, you may not have heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge; a campaign intended to raise ALS awareness that has taken the nation by storm. The gist of the challenge is for participants to film themselves having ice water dumped on them, then name three or more friends who they’d like to challenge to follow in their footsteps. The challenged are supposed to film themselves within 24 hours or donate to the ALS Association.
Many celebrities have taken part in the campaign over the past few days, including musician Dave Grohl and NBA superstar LeBron James. Even Star Wars: Episode VII Director J.J. Abrams joined in on the fun when he posted a video of himself being soaked with freezing water while in London, last week. In the video, Abrams calls out none other than the 501st Legion, which was founded by Star Wars fans to work with charitable organizations all over the world.
Enjoy watching J.J. Abrams chilling out with his family while raising ALS awareness, in the video below:
The Episode VII director wasn’t the only member of the Star Wars community who has stepped up to participate in the challenge. This morning, The Clone Wars voice actor James Arnold Taylor [Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon] accepted a challenge from a member of the 501st Legion!
Enjoy watching the incredibly talented JAT accept the Ice Bucket Challenge, as he demonstrates his skills in voicing some of the coolest cartoon characters around, in the video below:
Lucasfilm‘s Mary Franklin was also called out by the 501st Legion and she accepted the challenge in style! In case you don’t know, Franklin is the Senior Events Lead at Lucasfilm and is primarily responsible for developing Star Wars Celebration into the incredible event that it is! On Monday, the official Star Wars site posted a video of Franklin climbing into the water fountain at Skywalker Ranch!
Enjoy this great video of the amazing Mary Franklin accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge:
What exactly is ALS and why are all of these people dumping ice water all over themselves? Well Dork Siders, we’re here to help you figure all of that out.
First, let’s actually define exactly what the three letters ALS actually stand for.
From the ALS Association‘s Official Site:
"Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed."
What is the ALSA doing to help victims of ALS?
More from ALSA.com:
"One of the major purposes of The ALS Association is to help ALS patients and their families live as full and normal a life as possible. We believe that the ALS patients and families using information on this website as a guide will be better able to cope with the day-to-day challenges of living with ALS.While deservedly much attention is directed to the education and support of patients with ALS, The ALS Association also recognizes the tremendous responsibilities the family caregivers assume.In support of the education, resource and support needs of ALS patients and family caregivers, The ALS Association offers the following programs and services through its network of chapters, support groups, certified clinical centers and the National Office."
Okay, so now why exactly are people soaking themselves with freezing cold water? Quite simply, to raise awareness and help encourage others to donate to the ALSA‘s efforts in helping those who are afflicted.
As of today, Ice Bucket Challenge participants have helped raise over $30 million!
"As of Wednesday, August 20, The ALS Association has received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 20). These donations have come from existing donors and 637,527 new donors to The Association."
On behalf of the entire DSOTF staff, we thank all who have donated to the ALSA and helped raise awareness through participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Watch for more great videos of Star Wars fans and celebrities who are accepting the challenge, right here at DSOTF!