Motivated by the profound impact of ALS on their lives and families, Alex and Cory decided to use their shared passion for golf, and both their fathers' love of the sport, to make a difference. They envisioned creating an annual event that would raise both awareness and funds for ALS research and support, and with that the ‘100-Hole Challenge to Beat ALS’ was born.
Sydney’s father was diagnosed with ALS in April of 2017, but it did not stop him from living the rest of his life to the fullest and encouraging others to do the same. Sydney knew ALS could not take away her dad’s love of adventure, and she wanted to find a way to continue that love even when he no longer could. He passed away in 2018, but Sydney took on his bucket list as her own.
Since 2021, June 2 has been celebrated as Lou Gehrig Day by MLB in ballparks across the country, a day to help spread awareness and raise funds for people living with ALS and their families. June 2 marks when Gehrig became the New York Yankees starting first baseman in 1925—the start of his incredible streak of consecutive games played—as well as the day he passed away from ALS in 1941.
In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we are shining a spotlight on some of The ALS Association’s amazing, dedicated volunteers, and highlighting the incredible work they are doing to support our mission.
We are forever grateful for the many volunteers working with us to create a world without ALS. Volunteers like Mike Koehler in Kansas City, Missouri make a big impact. Mike leads the volunteers for all three of their Kansas City events, including a gala, a golf tournament and the Kansas City Walk to Defeat ALS®. He organizes the volunteers and acts as their main point of contact, managing and assigning tasks on the day of the events.
The Walk to Defeat ALS® is open to everyone, and fundraising is just one of many reasons people participate. We asked several members of the ALS community to share why they walk, and here’s what they had to say.
Matt Miller might just be the most shameless member of ‘Team Finlay,’ having spent the last 10 years taking outlandish dares from family and friends to raise money for his cousin Jack. From sleeping on roofs to participating in water aerobics dressed like Jane Fonda, there is nothing Matt won’t do to help fight ALS.
An avid skier, cyclist, and hiker, Father Jim has been a pastor at St. Michael’s Parish in Olympia, Washington for over twenty years. With members of the church community, he has traveled to numerous countries for both missionary work and recreational trips. A few years ago, he began having difficulties with muscle twitches, upper body weakness, and leg cramps. Before long he was diagnosed with ALS.
After my dad was diagnosed, there was no hesitation that our family was going to fight alongside him. So that meant it was time to volunteer with The ALS Association. We all knew right then and there that our volunteer work wasn’t going to save our father, but it was going to help others not feel the devastation we were feeling at the time of his diagnosis.
Jake met Bill Wechsler during his freshman year in high school in Holliston, MA. Challenged with academic and mental health issues at the time, Jake was referred to Bill who was the school social worker for counseling and support. By the spring of his junior year, Jake had made so much progress he no longer needed the formal counseling he had become accustomed to, but he still frequently visited Bill to spend time talking with him. It was around that same time that Bill was diagnosed with ALS.
While thinking about what I could do that would be a special and fun fundraiser, I noticed a famous drag queen asking for donations to a nonprofit on her social media and I thought “How do I get her to do that for The ALS Association?”
I’m hopeful because when my father left us, he left a piece of himself with me, and I’ll do everything I can to raise as much money and awareness as possible so that those three letters - A L S - are no longer considered a death sentence.
Today, in Major League ballparks across the country, fans will take part in the celebration of the second annual Lou Gehrig Day, an event to help spread awareness and raise funds for people living with ALS and their families. And no baseball fan is more excited than Larry Falivena.
Mike will never forget receiving a phone call telling him that his best friend, Matt, had been diagnosed with ALS. The first event Mike attended for The ALS Association was a golf event in Janesville with Matt. That one event has now become years of walks and third-party events supporting The ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter.
We recently caught up with Lindsay Litterini, volunteer and board member for The ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter, to learn more about her personal connection to ALS and her passion to join the fight against the disease.
Spring feels like it’s just around the corner for most of us, and that means ALS communities nationwide are preparing to kick off their 2022 Walk to Defeat ALS® events. And if the hard work and dedication we see each year from our incredible volunteers and families is any indication, it’s sure to be yet another amazing opportunity to join the fight for all those impacted by ALS.
Since high school, twenty-two-year-old Wil Armstrong dreamed of cycling across the country. After witnessing the impact of ALS on Rodney Lapp, his former mentor and high school basketball coach, Wil found his purpose to make this dream a reality.
To help empower kids in the fight against ALS, The ALS Association is celebrating the third annual ALS Youth Action Day on Saturday, May 15. It’s a day where kids across the country can take the ALS Youth Challenge and use the power of their creativity to help raise awareness and critical funds that help researchers around the world look for treatments and a cure while enabling people with ALS to live longer, higher quality lives.