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'Ice Bucket Challenge' Donations Hit $88 Million, ALS Association 'Awe-Struck'

BOSTON (CBS) – The president of the ALS Association said on Tuesday the organization is "awe-struck" at the generosity of donors who have now raised more than $88 million in just over a month thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The ALS Association said in a Tuesday announcement that 1.9 million new donors have raised $88.5 million between July 29 and August 26.

That amount compares to $2.6 million that was raised during the same time period in 2013.

"We are simply awe-struck at the incredible generosity that has poured forth to help fight this disease," ALS president and CEO Barbara Newhouse said in a statement.

"Words cannot express how grateful we are to the nearly two million people who have donated and even more than that who have likely taken the challenge. You have all made an incredible effort in the fight against this disease."

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a social media fundraising campaign that has gone viral worldwide after attention was drawn to it by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012.

Challenge participants post a video of themselves pouring a bucket of ice water over their head on social media, make a donation, and encourage several other friends to do the same.

There are no signs yet of donations slowing down. Funds have spiked from $22.6 million to $88.5 million in the last week alone, growing by an average of $9 million per day.

Newhouse said the ALS Association does not yet have a percentage breakdown of how the money will be allocated. But she added that research and care services for people living with ALS are the organization's top priorities.

"Every day, given this dramatic increase in funding, the scope of what's possible when it comes to fighting this disease has changed and continues to change," Newhouse said.

"Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, we are putting a decision-making process in place to address how this money will be spent. This is isn't a matter of spending these dollars quickly—it's a matter of investing these dollars prudently to achieve maximum impact in our quest to help people living with the disease and those yet to be diagnosed."


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