COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 13, 2017
Hearing Held on Bill to Designate the First Week in August as Ice Bucket Challenge Week
(BOSTON) – Yesterday morning at the State House, the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight heard testimony on House No. 1697, “An Act establishing the first week in August as Ice Bucket Challenge Week.” The bill, filed by Representative Jerry Parisella of Beverly and co-sponsored by Senator Joan B. Lovely, aims to continue the momentum of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has raised millions to fight ALS over the past two years.
Beverly resident, Peter Frates, was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2012 at the age of 27. In 2014, Pete created a viral sensation with the Ice Bucket Challenge. That summer, millions of people poured ice water over their heads in an effort to raise awareness of ALS and drive donations to support ALS research. As a direct result of the funds raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge, researchers were able to discover a new gene tied to ALS. This past May, researchers announced the first new FDA approved drug to treat ALS in more than 20 years.
Before his diagnosis, Pete attended St. John’s Preparatory School and Boston College. He was a 3-sport standout athlete in high school and an honor roll student. At Boston College he majored in communications and history and was Captain of the BC baseball team his senior year. He also played in the German Baseball League and coached youth baseball after college.
“I’m so proud to have co-sponsored this bill with Senator Lovely and to have had the opportunity to work with such a remarkable family,” said Represntative Parisella. “I hope this becomes law so we can recognize and honor the incredible work Pete and the Frates families have done to raise money and awareness about this dreaded disease. Lives will forever be positively affected because of their efforts.”
“The Frates family has been an amazing advocate for those fighting ALS, bringing a level of awareness to this devastating disease,” said Senator Lovely. “I believe that the Commonwealth should honor those individuals, like Pete Frates, who continue to fight this disease, and officially recognize Ice Bucket Challenge Week.”
Nancy and John Frates, Pete’s mother and father, attended the hearing to offer their support for the bill. The Frates family has taken an active role in raising awareness and millions of dollars for ALS research since Pete’s diagnosis.
“I’d like to thank State Representative Jerry Parisella for his leadership and partnership on this important piece of legislation,” added Senator Lovely. “It is our hope that this helps continue to raise awareness of ALS for years to come.”