Tampa Bay 'Ice Bucket Challenge' donations are changing lives - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Tampa Bay 'Ice Bucket Challenge' donations are changing lives

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The videos are filling up social media. Our friends and national celebrities all seem to be taking the "Ice Bucket Challenge."

The videos can be amusing and in some cases, emotional and poignant as people talk about how ALS has affected someone in their lives.

Locally, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and even Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, the daughter of the late former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, took part in the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge."

The question is, where is all of the money from the "Ice Bucket Challenge" going?

As of August 27, 2014 the national ALS Association reports $94.3 million in donations have been received. This compares to just $2.2 million dollars to the same organization during the same time period last year.

The number is a staggering windfall for any charity, and especially meaningful for a charity many people may not have even heard of before their friends started dousing themselves with water and ice.

ALS is the abbreviation for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A condition so difficult to pronounce for many, that it became known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease".

Gehrig was the "Iron horse of baseball", playing in an incredible 2,130 games without taking a day off.

On July 4, 1939, Gehrig made his infamous speech from Yankee field, calling himself the "luckiest man alive."

At the time, Gehrig was just learning that he was starting to suffer from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Gehrig died just two years later from the disease at the age of 38.

Now funds are pouring in and attention is being focused on the disease the carried his name.

However there is a distinction on how the money is being used.

People taking the challenge have a choice on how to donate the funds

Money donated to the national ALS Association is being used primarily for research.

Money donated to ALS Florida is used primarily for patient care.

In Florida, the money hasn't poured in with the wealth given to the national organization.

So far, $100,000 has made it to the local chapter.

This compares with donations of $21,000 over the same time frame in the previous year.

The increase in donations is remarkable for any charity, but the funds are being utilized differently.

In Florida, the ALS chapter uses 75% of their funds to directly benefit patient care.

"ALS patients need very expensive medical equipment to have quality of life, power wheel chairs, different type of lifts to get in and out of bed," said Alissa Gutierrez with ALS Florida.

Gutierrez says the donations are making a difference in people's lives.

"It is a God send, this is the miracle that we've been waiting for, with this disease for 75 years," said Gutierrez.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


 
  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Young heart patient's family to donate 'extra money' to others on transplant list

    Young heart patient's family to donate 'extra money' to others on transplant list

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:46:17 GMT
    Little Hudson. Image courtesy Hudson's Heart Community/FacebookLittle Hudson. Image courtesy Hudson's Heart Community/Facebook
    A Durham family has surpassed their fundraising goal to help pay for mounting medical bills for their 2-month-old son in need of a new heart, and they say they plan to donate any extra money to other families of children in need of organ transplants.
    A Durham family has surpassed their fundraising goal to help pay for mounting medical bills for their 2-month-old son in need of a new heart, and they say they plan to donate any extra money to other families of children in need of organ transplants.
  • 'Pointer Brothers' Gus and Travis have plenty of Instagram charm

    'Pointer Brothers' Gus and Travis have plenty of Instagram charm

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:08:17 GMT
    The Pointer Brothers on InstagramThe Pointer Brothers on Instagram
    If you have an Instagram account, you know how creative some of the photos can be.We came across this adorable pair of pooches, Gus and Travis, who are nicknamed "The Pointer Brothers".
    If you have an Instagram account, you know how creative some of the photos can be.We came across this adorable pair of pooches, Gus and Travis, who are nicknamed "The Pointer Brothers".
  • 10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:21 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:21:55 GMT
    George the goldfish had surgery to remove a tumor from his head (Photo courtesy Facebook/Lort Smith)George the goldfish had surgery to remove a tumor from his head (Photo courtesy Facebook/Lort Smith)
    The veterinarian who removed a tumor from 10-year-old George the goldfish says the surgery went "swimmingly."
    The veterinarian who removed a tumor from 10-year-old George the goldfish says the surgery went "swimmingly."
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.