Begun by the family of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who at the age of 29 is battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, this challenge is intended to get the word out about this debilitating disease. And the Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral through social media and includes celebrities, sports figures and people like you and I.

As each individual accepts the challenge, he or she mentions who challenged them and then issues their own challenges to others. And in the world of hockey, where ice is a way of life, the players are more familiar with skating on it than dumping it on themselves. But hockey players are also community-oriented people who recognize how fortunate they are to do something they love and who cannot turn down a challenge. As a result, they are embracing the Ice Bucket Challenge at all levels of the sport and issuing multiple challenges to make sure that awareness of this horrible disease continues to spread.

Visit Twitter, Instagram or FaceBook and you will find short videos of many people accepting and issuing the Ice Bucket Challenge. Among those playing hockey for teams in and around Boston, the Boston Bruins, Boston College Eagles and Boston University are among those who have accepted challenges, posting their videos and including the hash tags #StrikeOutALS and #IceBucketChallenge.

Among the Boston Bruins who have accepted the challenge include Greg Campbell, who then issued the challenge to Brad Marchand. Brad has now posted his video and issued challenges to Torey Krug and Chris Kelly, who have 24 hours to respond.

Ryan Fitzgerald - Ice Bucket Challenge

Ryan Fitzgerald – Ice Bucket Challenge

In the colleges, Boston College has seen coach Jerry York accept the challenge. Most recently Bruins prospect and returning BC Eagle sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald accepted the challenge and posted his video on Instagram issuing his challenges to fellow teammate Evan Richardson (who has already answered and called out additional teammates) as well as Commonwealth Avenue rival, and Boston Bruins prospect teammate, Matt Grzelcyk who will be in his junior year at Boston University this season.

Wall Street Journal’s Brian M. Carney, who recently wrote the article “Throwing a Little Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge,” has perhaps overanalyzed the purpose of the Ice Bucket Challenge. He questions whether this challenge is actually doing any good in the fight against ALS. He encourages people to donate to ALS to assist in finding a cure, but suggests that this craze is perhaps not the best way to call attention to the disease.

However, given the number of individuals who are accepting and issuing challenges and the number of people on social media sites who follow these individuals, it would appear that it is indeed calling attention to the plight of those who suffer from ALS. In the end it is hoped that everyone who has been introduced to this disease through the Ice Bucket Challenge will donate, volunteer in some way to help the ALS Association, or expand the knowledge of their family and friends about Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

And please be sure to visit the Pete Frates #3 Fund web site to learn more about Pete Frates, the disease, how you can help, and about other institutions and organizations that are working hard to put an end to ALS.

If you are issued the challenge, remember that it is to keep awareness of ALS in the forefront.


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