Ice Bucket Challenge keeps donations pouring in

By Anna Carrera , Alex Davis |

Published 08/28 2014 04:55PM

Updated 08/28 2014 05:36PM

CHAMPAIGN -- The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the internet by storm. A group of area teachers made an extra effort Thursday, doing it in honor of someone they knew.

Tricia Evans worked at Westview Elementary. She died earlier this year after being diagnosed with ALS. Her coworkers are Taking Action to raise awareness and money for the cause. WCIA-3's Anna Carerra finds out why it was the perfect tribute for their friend.

Tricia was so positive and full of life, her friends say this would have been right up her alley. Students have been hearing about this all week, leading up to the big splash. There's a special connection which grows when you work with someone; especially when they've been with you from the start.

"It was my first year at Westview and she was also an aide with me that first year. We just really bonded."

You might say Anne Hogan's love for Tricia Evans was overflowing. After Tricia was diagnosed with ALS, her cup ran over too with an outpouring of support from coworkers.

"By the time December came around, she was having a hard time getting in her car at the end of the day and some of the guys that work here would help her out to her car."

Tricia's battle with ALS ended this year. So, even though she's not here anymore, her fellow teachers are still going strong. After a bunch of them were nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge, they figured what better way to do it than all together.

"I didn't want to do it by myself. I wanted my whole school to do it with me."

They took this as another teaching opportunity, explaining the disease to students.

"For them to understand there is a purpose behind this and that we wanted to help support that cause too."

To remember a woman who filled their lives with joy, they smiled too because that special connection they feel lives on, especially in the memories they've made.

"She was such a joy to be around and I think this is a great way to honor her."

The Westview teachers nominated Kenwood and South Side elementary schools, plus the district's assistant superintendent, Susan Zola. South Side teachers already met that challenge Thursday afternoon.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a social media sensation. The ALS Association has raised more than $94 million in the past month. It's a huge change compared to last year.

In 2013, it raised just $2 million. Now donors want to know how the money will be spent. In response, the group said it will be transparent and share information about how it's investing the money.

Here's a breakdown of last year's donations and how they were spent: 28% went to fund research; 32% went to public and professional education to raise awareness.

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