The ALS Association, Upstate New York chapter, announces its annual "Walk to Defeat ALS" on Aug. 4, at Delaware Park - Meadow Drive entrance, Buffalo. The three-mile walk is open to the public and all funds raised will be donated to The ALS Association, Upstate New York chapter, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding the cause and cure of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The event involves the following:
•Walk registration: 9 a.m.
•Opening ceremony: 10 a.m.
•Entertainment: 1) Winelight Duo: Dave Calire and Jim Bohm; 2) Gregg Juke and The Mighty No-Stars. The former bass player for The Mighty No-Stars, Joel Thomas, passed away this year from ALS.
•2012 sponsors: Uncle Bob's Self Storage, Bagel Jay's, Erie County Medical Center, The Vinyl Outlet and Wegmans. Media Sponsors: Channel 4 News (WIVB).
This year's "Walk to Defeat ALS" will be led by the "Honorary Person with ALS," Chuck Thore of Grand Island, and his team, "Thore's Thunder." Thore was diagnosed with ALS in March 2011. He is a military veteran, serving in the Navy for nine years as a mechanic on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger. Thore also served in the military police in Fallon, Nev.
"We're so pleased Chuck has agreed to honor this role, and we're proud of his military service for our country," said Kathy Lahey, executive director of The ALS Association, Upstate New York chapter. "Chuck's son, Christopher, is an Army ranger and another son, James, served in the Marine reserves. It's important to shed light on the fact that ALS impacts military veterans at twice the rate as the general public."
ALS is a devastating and always fatal neuromuscular disease. Unless a cure is found, more than 30,000 Americans living today will die from ALS. The financial cost to families of persons with ALS can be up to $250,000 per year, depleting entire savings of relatives and patients.
"Last year, the walk in Buffalo saw over 600 walkers who raised over $100,000 for cutting-edge research and vital patient services," Lahey said. "The funds allowed the chapter to hire a part-time care coordinator and build a program in the Western New York region providing direct contact with ALS patients and their families."
The ALS Association is funded solely by donations, and all services to patients are offered free of charge.
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, the association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.
To learn more about the "Walk to Defeat ALS," call toll free 1-866-499-7257, or visit www.alsaupstateny.org.
For more information about The ALS Association, Upstate New York chapter, visit www.alsaupstateny.org.