Okay, as of this writing, it would appear most of North America, Europe, and assorted other geographical spots have taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. Haven't been challenged yet? Don't worry, you will be.

This wide-ranging fundraiser for ALS has been embraced by thousands and thousands of people, from your everyday folks like you and me to celebrities and heads of state.

Two of my favorites just happen to be British. Patrick Stewart and Benedict Cumberbatch take the challenge, but on their own terms.

First, Patrick Stewart:

Now, here's Cumberbatch making up for Patrick Stewart's decidedly dry countenance:

So, how well is the Ice Bucket Challenge working as far as fundraising for ALS? I'd say probably better than anyone ever imagined. According to their website:

As of Tuesday, August 26, The ALS Association has received $88.5 million in donations compared to $2.6 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 26). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.9 million new donors to The Association, which is incredibly grateful for this tremendous outpouring of support.

President and CEO Barbara Newhouse is blown away by the outpouring of donations:

“We are simply awe-struck at the incredible generosity that has poured forth to help fight this disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “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.”

Just one week ago, donations totaled $22.6 million. In just seven days, donations have skyrocketed by an average of $9 million per day, now totaling $88.5 million.

For those who'd like a little more info on ALS:

Quick Facts about ALS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.  When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them.  Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.
  • Every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people.
  • The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.  With recent advances in research and improved medical care, many patients are living longer, more productive lives. Half of all those affected live at least three years or more after diagnosis.  About 20 percent live five years or more, and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.  ALS can strike anyone. Every single American is threatened by this disease.

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM