The ice bucket challenge, the social media trend that's filling up your Facebook feed, has been benefitting the ALS Association, which works to fight Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Unlike planking or coning, however, this stunt aims to help spread awareness about and raise money to help fight disease.
Participants are asked to donate to the ALSA and then douse themselves in a bucket of ice water, before challenging friends to do the same. Having already raised over $41 million for the ALSA, a substantial increase from the $1.8 million raised during the same period last year, the challenge has received celebrity attention ranging from Chris Pratt to Christiano Ronaldo.
ALS can strike anyone, without rhyme or reason, at any time. It does not discriminate based on age, sex, sexuality, or race, and those who are diagnosed typically face a 3-5 year life expectancy. When Jose Cofino and his partner of 16 years, Ben Trust, discovered that Jose had a slow-developing form of ALS in 2013, they chose to fight like hell and to enjoy each day they had left like never before. Together, they founded BeyondALS, a charity that seeks to raise awareness of the disease and search for a solution. In an article for FrontiersLA, Cofino wrote "We hold each other often and look for the day when we will be beyond ALS."
Jose Cofino (left) and his partner Ben Trust (right). Photo courtesy of FrontiersLA.
Those interested in donating to the ALSA can do so here, and those interested in donating to BeyondALS can do so here.
The list of celebs is far-ranging, and even includes legislator Brian Sims.
>>>Check out some of the greatest contenders on the following page:
Arrow and Doctor Who star John Barrowman takes the plunge and challenges fellow Arrow star Colton Haynes,Supernatural's Misha Collins, and Doctor Who's David Tennant.
White Collar's Matt Bomer watches in terror as his sons attack him with three coolers full of ice.
Former NSYNC singer Lance Bass takes to Instagram for his challenge and ends by calling out personal assistant Lisa Delcampo, Glee star Darren Criss, fellow NSYNC singerJoey Fatone, and actress Colleen Ballinger's character Miranda Sings.
Star Trek legend and social media darling George Takei gives the challenge a sci-fi twist and challenges astronaut Buzz Aldrin, scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and gay Lord of the Rings/X-Men star Ian McKellen.
Challenge Accepted! How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris heeds the call with the help of his family. In turn, he challenges Warm Bodies actor Dave Franco, Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, and Doctor Horrible co-star and nemesis, Nathan Fillion.
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons also took part in the challenge and threw the gauntlet down on ESPN's Andrew Perloff as well as Big Bang co-stars Mayim Bialik and Kunal Nayyar.
Newsies actor Andy Mientus trades a cold shower for champagne as he opts just to go for a cash donation and nominates fellow Broadway actors Jeremy Jordan, Krysta Rodriguez, and Wes Taylor.