Olathe Fire Departments helps 100 area football players take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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OLATHE, Kan. -- You've seen the countless videos of people pouring buckets of ice water on their heads. But, are people donating? The ALS Association says yes!

The organization said Saturday that it had raised $62.5 million dollars compared to just $2.4 million dollars during the same time period last year. That’s 26 times the amount of money. And, the organization credits the boost to the continued popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Saturday morning the Olathe Northwest High School Football Team accepted a challenge made by a player’s aunt on television for the entire team to get soaked at once. The challenge comes from a meteorologist at FOX 4’s sister station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to her nephew, senior football player Manny Psihountas.

With the help of the Olathe Fire Department more than 100 players on the team got drenched by a fire hose.

"Oh it was awesome especially after this scrimmage we were really hot and it just felt awesome,” said Psihountas.

Not only is the Ice Bucket Challenge raising money, the ALS Association said it's raising awareness about the neurodegenerative disease. ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord leading to a loss of muscle control and movement, even paralyzation.

"I really didn't know exactly what it was until just a couple weeks ago,” said senior football player Adam Harter.

"I knew it was Lou Gehrig’s disease was, but I really didn't know how horrifying of a disease it was until I saw a clip on Facebook,” said teammate Psihountas.

The ALS Association said more than 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year. That's 15 new cases a day; one disease that may be closer to a cure every time someone accepts the challenge and donates.

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