The $115 million in Ice Bucket Challenge donations this summer are beginning to melt with initial approval of $21.7 million in funding for six projects.
The ALS Association (ALSA) in Washington, D.C., announced it would support six programs and initiatives to expedite the search for treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The funding also triggered $12.5 million in matching donations, for a total commitment of $34.2 million to the six projects, four of which involve global research cooperatives that would not have moved forward without ALSA funding, according to the organization.
ALSA’s Board of Trustees approved the funding at board meetings during September and plans to meet later this month to discuss and approve a comprehensive plan to be released in early November for the Ice Bucket windfall.
Donations from this past summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge have tallied some $115 million, including $100 million in the span of 30 days. The organization is still seeing a lift, mostly related to its ALS Walks, which are up 30 to 100 percent in participants and revenue, according to a spokeswoman. The ALS Association and its 38 affiliates nationwide typically generated annual revenue of less than $70 million before this past summer’s fundraising phenomenon.
The projects that will benefit from the initial funding include:
“We recognize the sense of urgency felt by people living with the disease and their families and I want to assure everyone that our number one commitment is to making decisions that get treatments to patients in the fastest way possible,” said Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of The ALS Association. “Our roadmap to treatments involves collaboration with other ALS organizations and with industry, university investigators, government agencies, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and other nonprofit organizations committed to the fight against ALS.”
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