TIME Accident

Firefighter Injured While Doing Ice Bucket Challenge Dies

Ice Bucket Challenge-Firefighters Hurt
A Campbellsville Fire Department truck with the ladder extended remained at the scene where two firefighters were injured during an ice bucket challenge during a fundraiser for ALS on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Campbellsville, Ky. Dylan Lovan—AP

Tony Girder was too close to a power line last month when he helped students participate in an Ice Bucket Challenge

One of four firefighters hurt last month as they helped college students take part in an Ice Bucket Challenge has died of his injuries.

The killed firefighter, Tony Grider, suffered an electric shock when his fire truck’s ladder got too close to a power line. The incident happened shortly after the firefighters poured cold water on Campbellsville University students in Kentucky, the Associated Press reported last month.

Grider, 41, had been with the Campbellsville Fire Department for 16 years, reports WLKY Louisville. He is survived by five children and his wife, Gena.

[WLKY Louisville]

TIME celebrity

Of Course Kim Kardashian Took a Selfie While Doing the Ice Bucket Challenge

Exactly what you'd expect from her

Kim Kardashian has finally participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which people get doused in ice water and post video proof online or donate to ALS research as part of a viral fundraising effort that has raised more than $100 million.

Kardashian, who is married to Kanye West and stars in Keeping up with the Kardashians, made the challenge her own by taking one of her signature selfies as Ellen DeGeneres dumped a bucket of ice water over the reality TV star’s head on The Ellen Show. Just before she got soaked, the “selfie queen” exclaimed, “Oh my god, I don’t even want to see this happening to me.”

Also, there’s a lot of screaming, so you may want to turn the volume down on your computer before you watch the above clip.

Here’s another view that Kardashian posted on her Instagram.

No word on whether the selfie will be in Selfish, her upcoming book on selfies due out April 2015.

TIME society

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Just Topped $100 Million

More than 3 million people have donated

Donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge broke the $100 million mark Friday as people around world continue to dump ice on their heads and donate to the ALS Association to help combat Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” ALS President and CEO Barbara Newhouse said in a statement.

The $100 million in donations came from more than 3 million donors who have contributed since the challenge went viral in late July. The ALS Association raised only $2.8 million in the same period last year.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a social media phenomenon, grabbing the attention of millions of Americans including many celebrities and political figures. Some have speculated that it might forever change the way charities approach fundraising.

TIME viral

Watch Stephen Hawking Do the Ice Bucket Challenge

Physicist Stephen Hawking, who had pneumonia last year, said it “would not be wise for me to have a bucket of cold water poured over [him]” — referring to the viral fundraising effort in which people dump ice water over themselves or donate money to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. Instead, his children, Robert, Lucy and Tim, volunteered themselves as his proxies.

Hawking, who’s nearly totally paralyzed after being diagnosed with ALS at 21, urged everyone to donate to the Motor Neurone Disease Association to “eliminate this terrible disease.”

According to the ALS Association, the viral fundraising effort has raised about $95 million so far.

TIME health

The Real Ice Bucket Challenge

What’s harder than dumping freezing water on your head? Repeating this kind of success

One of the most viral philanthropic social-media campaigns in history has reached our family too. We were about to board an international flight when both of my children were called out by their friends on Facebook to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the deadly neurological condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

My kids are no strangers to ALS. Our neighbor has it, and my daughter is a student at Boston College, the alma mater of Pete Frates, the young man whose fight inspired the challenge. But I don’t recall talking about ALS as a family before, and I doubt either of my kids had ever discussed it with their friends. Like most other rare diseases, ALS doesn’t often find itself in the spotlight.

At 30,000 ft., we talked for the first time about the devastation ALS brings and what is being done about it. We watched countless videos of friends who had stepped up to the Ice Bucket Challenge. And within hours of landing, they too had dumped icy water–and uploaded the proof. We watched together in amazement as, within days, everyone from George W. Bush to Taylor Swift got soaked in the name of charity.

So fun! So creative! So … effective. Why didn’t the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the cancer-research organization I started when I was diagnosed with the disease, think up something like this? my kids asked. I had no answer, only the wish that we had.

So far, the social-media craze has raised a whopping $94.3 million for the ALS Association since the end of July. That’s up from $2.7 million in the same period last year. And that’s just one of many ALS-focused organizations to have seen such a windfall.

As brilliantly simple as the Ice Bucket Challenge is, its phenomenal success is making many of us think hard about new ways to raise awareness and dollars.

The efficiency of the campaign, for one, is awe-inspiring. The only overhead the ALS Association incurred was the cost and staff time of drafting and then sending a single email to 60,000 people in its database. The campaign also demonstrated the power of one or two people who care passionately about a cause. After all, the Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t started by the ALS Association or a PR agency but by young people who wanted to support their friend with ALS.

For me, the biggest takeaway of all is the need to engage a younger generation of potential donors. A recent report showed that in 2012, 75% of 20-to-35-year-olds had donated to philanthropies the year before, and another 70% were more than willing to ask their friends and relatives to do the same. Millennial enthusiasm can make things go viral, sometimes massively so. The results speak for themselves.

But now that the money has been raised, a potentially harder challenge is emerging. Many people are questioning what the ALS Association will do with such an extraordinary influx of money. In my view, the opportunities are endless.

As is the case for most rare diseases, progress in ALS research has been severely hamstrung by funding shortages. There are few treatments–none of them effective–and a cure for the disease remains elusive. The ALS community’s windfall will dramatically change that landscape. Simply put: science that was never before imaginable is now possible.

This will no doubt create a groundswell of interest in ALS research. It will attract new scientists to the field who may not otherwise have been interested in the disease but who have to follow the funding. And it will pique the interest of pharma and biotech companies, which may not otherwise have had the incentive to pursue R&D for such a relatively small patient population.

Making the most of each dollar means developing milestones for every project funded and communicating these results back to donors. Over time, this will help turn the 1.9 million new donors captured through the Ice Bucket Challenge into repeat donors.

Watching how the campaign has unfolded so far has already prompted us at the MMRF to think of new ways to more effectively raise dollars. My hope is that long after the Ice Bucket Challenge dries up, other disease-based nonprofits will be inspired by how the ALS community stewards the funds raised this summer and continues to build support for curing such a cruel disease.

Giusti is founder and executive chairman of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

TIME viral

David Lynch Plays Trumpet in Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Putin

Exactly what you'd expect from the director

As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge makes its way around the globe, it was only a matter of time until it eventually came around to director David Lynch. Naturally, the man who brought us Blue Velvet, Eraserhead and Elephant Man interpreted the fundraising and awareness-raising exercise in a very David Lynchian way.

Challenged by Laura Dern (who starred in his film Wild at Heart) to dump iced coffee over his head, the director dumped a double shot of espresso into a bucket of ice water and proceeded to play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the trumpet until someone drenched him with the jumbo iced Americano. It was an odd cinematic moment that still managed to makes more sense than Mulholland Drive.

Lynch made the video a two-for-one deal, as he was also nominated for the stunt by The Leftovers star Justin Theroux. Still soaking from the original dousing, Lynch had another bucket dumped on him, disappointingly with just plain old ice water.

As water dripped down his face, Lynch passed the nomination forward. To Vladimir Putin.

MORE: Matt Damon Uses Toilet Water for His Ice Bucket Challenge

MORE: Superman Proves He’s Superman By Hardly Wincing During The Ice Bucket Challenge

TIME viral

Toddler Completes Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Dora the Explorer

Your move, Dora.

By now, it seems just about everyone – celebrities, politicians, dogs — has participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, the massively viral phenomenon raising money for ALS research. (The ALS Association says it has now raised more than $90 million to combat the disease.)

You might be a little sick of watching videos of people dumping water over their heads, but we recommend taking 45 seconds to watch the one above, uploaded by YouTuber Mike Weber. It features an adorable 2-year-old named Ashley who dons a pair of goggles and gamely completes the challenge. She nominates a few members of her family, and then also nominates Barbie and Dora the Explorer.

Your move, Dora.

TIME Television

Watch Homer Simpson Take the Ice Bucket Challenge

D'oh!

Homer Simpson is jumping on the Ice Bucket Challenge bandwagon.

The clip parodies the movement that’s dominated social media in recent weeks, in which people dump ice water on themselves to raise money and awareness for research into ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Homer dumps a tiny cup of water on himself and pretends to suffer: “But it was all worth it to raise awareness for ALS.” But then his kids raise the stakes, finding something a bit more frigid to dump on Homer.

TIME viral

Superman Proves He’s Superman By Hardly Wincing During The Ice Bucket Challenge

Henry Cavill and Amy Adams get doused multiple times

On the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, multiple buckets and trash cans of ice water were dumped over Henry Cavill — who was in his Superman costume — and Amy Adams (Lois Lane).

The video is part of the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” a viral fundraising effort that has raised nearly $90 million by encouraging people to dump ice water over their heads on camera or donate $100 to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research (or both, as lots of celebrities have done).

In the video, Amy Adams said she was nominated by actor Darren Le Gallo and challenged her siblings to do it next.

TIME als ice bucket challenge

I Figured Out Why I Hate the Ice Bucket Challenge

Two women get doused during the ice bucket challenge at Boston's Copley Square on Aug. 7, 2014.
Two women get doused during the ice bucket challenge at Boston's Copley Square on Aug. 7, 2014. Elise Amendola—AP

I shudder to think what Americans look like dumping freezing cold water over our heads while so much of the world is plunged into acute suffering, and I can tell you exactly why

With much gratitude, somehow my weekend Facebook thread was remarkably free of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos. A friend with whom I spent the weekend was not so lucky. Every time she looked at Facebook she exclaimed “Another one! Another one. Oh my God. Sheryl Sandberg! Oh my God! Bill Gates! Russell Crowe! Justin Timberlake!” I actually watched Justin Timberlake’s, not because I am obsessed with Justin Timberlake, but because I found him somehow the most surprising. But he really took to ice water, well, I guess the way a duck takes to regular water.

But my friend and I found ourselves ultimately irritated by the ALS challenge, which has shown no signs of fading. We wondered why. How could we object to an organization raising $80 million dollars to help combat a terrible disease? Charitable fundraising is not a frivolous pursuit. Plus, I myself had done many only-charitable-to-myself frivolous things this weekend. I flew in an airplane. I ate food out of takeout containers. I swam in a lovely pool.

Still exploring our irritation, my friend and I watched one particular video of a woman standing in front of her Malibu beach house, screaming as the icy water fell on her head. I’d seen and heard other ALS Ice Bucketeers scream, but this one was particularly bloodcurdling. In that scream, I knew why the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge rubbed me the wrong way.

At any given time, many people on the planet are enduring war and famine and violence. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that in the last few weeks the news been especially awful. Around 2,000 Palestinians and 66 Israelis have died in Gaza since that conflict flared up. In our very own country, a police officer shot an unarmed 18-year-old boy, six times. This morning, Sudanese rebels shot down a U.N. helicopter.

And here we are in America dumping ice water on our heads, which, I insist, is more than just harmless fun for a good cause. It is disrespectful to the literally millions of people in the world who are, as I type and you read, in actual physical pain. To then post that experience in public forum is essentially kind of a subtle form of bragging. “My life is so without trauma that I find creating moments of trauma exhilarating, and hilarious.” The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of Americans creating and sharing these videos suggests that we as a nation are making the same boast.

Do I think everyone who did the ALS challenge is a terrible person? Of course not. Do I think that there’s another way that ALS could have raised all that money so fast? Unlikely. It’s certainly better for the ALS Association and the approximately 30,000 Americans who have ALS that this happened. That said, I shudder to think about what we look like dumping freezing cold water over our heads while so much of the world at this time is plunged into acute suffering over which they have no control. Not to mention the fact that we are also in the middle of an historic drought, and most of the challenge water is from the tap, not the toilet or another used source (an exception being Matt Damon, who rightly called dumping clean water on his head “a little crazy”).

Imagine being a suffering person in the world, watching Americans spend the weekend dumping water on their heads as a quixotic impetus to give—or to avoid giving? Which is it?—money. In Gaza, having bombs drop all around you and sharing the one remaining jug of water left in your kitchen with four other people. In Ferguson, Missouri.

I am not saying that Americans should have spent their weekends in hair shirts, flagellating themselves. But if we’re going to be excited about having this connected world, we need to act like citizens of that world and try to be aware that there are other people living in it, whose experience is absolutely nothing like ours. And with that realization, it might be nice to just quietly, without screaming or wasting, send someone who has less than you, someone who suffers more, a check. Just because.

 

Sarah Miller also writes for NewYorker.com and The Hairpin, among other outlets, and has published two novels, Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl.

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