Special people raising money and awareness on their own.
Somerset, NJ—Running is a great way to stay in shape. Apparently, it’s also a great way to raise thousands of dollars for a good cause. For the annual June Moon 5K race sponsored by Central Jersey Road Runners Club (CJRRC), it posed an opportunity for Ginny Platania of Somerset, NJ, to bring awareness and money to a cause that is close to her heart. On June 20, 2008 the CJRRC raised $2,000 for The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter—which services Northern and Central New Jersey among other counties in the Greater New York region.
The CJRRC website proclaims that they celebrate the fact that on that day they held their “11th Annual June Moon 5K with more runners than last year!”
Race organizer, Ginny Platania, is a librarian by profession but she says she works in a non-library environment, though still with books.
“I work for Baker & Taylor, Inc., a wholesaler of books/audio/video/computer games with lots of library customers,” Ginny wrote in a recent email interview. “Which is why they like to have librarians on staff.”
Getting out of the stacks for a little running is what Ginny likes to do for fun. And as a member of CJRRC, she gets in plenty of running. Last year, Ginny volunteered to be the race director for CJRRC’s June Moon 5K and had a very successful first year. She decided to add a charity for the 2008 race.
But her decision to raise money for ALS is not merely a random act of kindness. It has a special meaning close to her heart:
“My youngest brother was diagnosed with ALS in November 2007, at age 42,” she said. “I had been looking and asking around for almost 6 months to choose a charity. When my brother was diagnosed last November, right before Thanksgiving, I knew what my choice was going to be.”
Bob, now 43, is married with two children: Janna, 6; and Sam, 3.
Many people came together to help put on the June Moon 5K—so named because the race kicks off at around 7PM. People supported the fundraising event by sponsoring the race with needed materials (water, bananas, goodie bag items), donating prizes for winners (e.g. gift certificates & the like), gifting items for a race day raffle, or by donating money.
The CJRRC advertised the race in Metro Race Forum (www.raceforum.com), listed the race on different web sites (active.com, bestrace.com, etc.), got the event listed on the ALS-NY.org events calendar on the website, put the race day in issues of the club’s newsletter, and got a listing on Somerset County Parks Commission events web page.
“We also talked up the race whenever possible and got others to do the same,” Ginny said.
As for planning, Ginny received a ton of help and support.
“Lots of people in the club helped ahead of time as well as at the race,” Ginny said. “I had volunteers from within and outside the running community. Certain people helped me stay sane through the whole process, including Tom Brand, Fran Libasci, Baxter Brooks, and Mark Zenobia.”
She said that she couldn’t have organized the race and the fundraiser without the support of the club and the running community, as well as the support of some of her closest friends.
Another person who helped out a lot, she added:
“My husband, Jeff Platania,” she made a special not to mention. “I couldn't have done it without him, for sure.”
Ginny implores people to get involved and raise awareness as well as money for ALS research into a cure and patient services. You can also advocate for legislation or volunteer for one of many events just like the June Moon 5K. To find out how, visit The ALS Greater New York Chapter website at www.als-ny.org or call them at 1-800-672-8857.
When asked if she’d do another fundraising June Moon 5K she said, “Definitely—I’m looking forward to doing this again next year!”
The Central Jersey Road Runners Club (CJRRC) is a 501 (C)3 organization dedicated to promoting running and racing to people of all ages, educating people about how to run safely and smartly and encouraging camaraderie among all runners.
It was one year ago when Matthew Gluck’s mother, Ellen, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). After contemplating the severity of this disease and the effects on its victims, Matthew decided to run.
Not run away from his family troubles, mind you. He decided that running would be the best way he could raise awareness for a cure. Always with a sense of humor even in the face of tragedy (Matthew is a self-styled comedian) he writes on his website that to raise money for the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. He’ll do all the work.
“You will do nothing,” Matthew said. “I will run and you’ll send in a donation in November.”
Calling the fundraising effort, “Matthew Gluck Runs,” he started with an Earth Day 5K run in New Jersey in April and continues until Thanksgiving at the Gail Gorin Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in Smithtown, NY. By the end he will have run in 10 road races in the Tri-State area, each race between 3.1 and 6.2 miles with a total goal of 50 miles.
But if you are the type not to couch potato your way through a fundraiser, Matthew suggests running with him.
“If you choose to be a runner or a walker, I will make a donation for you, in your name, based on how many miles you run,” he said.
Matthew also has a third, more tongue in cheek, suggestion:
“Do nothing, and hope I injure myself while running. That, as usual, will be extremely helpful.”
Apparently running is in his genes. Matthew’s father, Harvey, was a runner for years.
“I guess I got the bug from him,” Matthew said. “When I was younger, he would run in 3, 5 or 10 miles races and would take me to do the ‘Fun Run’ of 1 mile.”
Matthew had run Cross Country for his Middle School and High School.
Already, Matthew’s fundraising has reached an amazing $16,986.00. But he’s not stopping yet. A founder of his own company, LMS Strategies Inc., a process consulting practice for the banking industry, Matt never tires when working for a cause.
In fact, while attending the Inaugural Carl S. Levine Golf Classic, (also a fundraiser for the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter) Matt hosted a live auction that brought in thousands of dollars for the charity, including selling off a Smart Car donated by his Dad that went for $14,000!
He says that the response to the “Matthew Gluck Runs” fundraising efforts have been “overwhelming!”
The entire family, including Matt’s wife Lindsay, his brother Jason, and his mother and father, Ellen and Harvey, want all their supporters to know how appreciative they are by the outpouring of support.
“These generous contributions are helping such an amazing cause,” said Lindsay Gluck in an email.
His website, www.firstgiving.com/matthewgluck, enables you to pledge to “Matthew Gluck Runs,” which donates 100 percent of proceeds to the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter.
The Westchester Walk on Saturday June 29th at Tibbetts Brook Park was a rousing success. Even with high temperatures and the threat of rain all of our supporters, PALS and CALS, showed up in their usual high spirits, ready to have fun and show support.
Had you arrived a little early, you may have noticed a very official looking camera crew from ABC News interviewing various Walk organizers and ALS Association members. Walk Co-Chair, Bill Monti graciously made himself available at the crack of dawn at 6am with the rest of the schedule being filled by Team Captain, Mary Hoar; Walk Co-Chairs, Donna and Mark Rubin; the President & CEO of ALS Association Greater New York Chapter, Dorine Gordon; and Captain of Team Basora, Maria Basora.
By the time the tents were set, the breakfast was served and the bottles of water were put out for thirsty attendees (hot and humid was the order of the day), there were already hundreds of people walking the grounds, stretching, organizing teams and getting ready for the big event.
If you remember, last year a tree was planted in Tibbetts Brook Park to honor the memory of Bill Monti, a PALS who passed away on August 25th, 2000, son of Walk co-chairs, Bill & Fran Monti. An athletic, hardworking, husband and father of two, Bill was an Accountant by profession. Only married for two years when he was diagnosed, his dedicated wife cared for him at his home, along with his parents, Bill and Fran Monti. They said Bill “never lost his faith throughout” the ordeal, a testament to his strength and dedication of his loving family.
North Salem, NY residents, Bill and Fran Monti, have been actively involved with the Westchester Walk, tirelessly co-chairing the event since its inception six years ago. At this year’s Walk--one year after the tree was first planted--a private ceremony was held during which a memorial plaque was dedicated at the foot of the tree.
“We take every opportunity to talk to anyone who will listen about ALS,” said Monti. “Making it personal allows folks to be sympathetic with offers of support, both financial and advocating with us.”
The Golden Falcons, a men's soccer team from Felician College located in Rutherford, N.J., will be selling sideline level seat tickets to the upcoming July 19th Major League Soccer game between the New York Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy for $50 a piece to raise money for the ALS Association of Greater New York. The Red Bulls will donate a portion of each ticket price back to Felician College, which will then split their earnings with the charity.
The game between the New York Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy is on July 19th, a Saturday. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford. Members of the Felician men's soccer team will also host a pre-game tailgate in the Giants Stadium parking lot that evening.
"ALS is affecting my family, which increased my awareness of how terrible it really is," Snyder said. "We'll use some of the proceeds for equipment and a storage unit, but we can all feel good about doing something to fund research to fight this disease. With stars like Juan Pablo Angel and David Beckham scheduled to play on the 19th, it should be a great day."
For more information about the fundraiser visit the Felician College news page here.
When Carl S. Levine passed away on September 13, 2006 after a two year battle with ALS, he left behind his wife, Louise Levine, and three children, Evan, Joshua and Amanda. Carl, who practiced law for 33 years and served as an Associate Judge in the Village of Old Westbury, NY, was best known for his unconditional loyalty to friends, clients and family as well as his wonderfully witty sense of humor. Like many families of People with ALS (PALS), they wondered what they could do to help raise awareness of the disease and support research.
“We’ve seen what ALS can do and it’s terrible,” said Joshua Levine. “We wanted to raise money for a good cause and contribute to the search for a cure.”
Friends suggested a golf event. After passing the idea around to a few people, the feedback they received was positive enough to start planning.
“I had been to charity golf outings before,” said Joshua Levine. “And I thought sure, why not?”
What began as a simple idea has now grown into the Inaugural Carl S. Levine Golf Classic to Benefit ALS Research. The outing will be held at the North Hempstead Country Club on Long Island on August 4, 2008. Registration and Brunch will be at 10:30 AM, Shotgun Start at 12:00 PM and at 5:30 PM will be cocktails followed by an Awards Dinner. The family hopes to raise about $100,000 for the cause.
Carl S. Levine, an attorney by trade, had been a golfer himself. “Not a very good one,” joked his son.
So while Carl’s impact on the game of golf may not have been significant, this memorial outing will certainly be a success, especially since the whole family is pitching in to help. Joshua’s twin sister, Amanda, and brother, Evan, are both heavily involved, as well as their mother, Louise.
“It’s been an incredible amount of work,” admits Joshua. “On that day it’ll be a massive relief and hopefully we’ll have hit our fundraising goal.”
The event should draw approximately 120 golfers with room for an additional 100 guests to join the awards dinner and auction. Auction items include everything from sporting event tickets and free gym workouts to cases of wine and an aerial tour of Manhattan.
|Agents Steven Schneider (2nd from left) and Chris Scandaglia (3rd from left) stand with the staff of ALS Association at Steven Schneider Allstate Agency office on the day of the check presentation.|
In Recognition of Lou Gehrig’s disease awareness month, the Steven Schneider Allstate Agency has raised $3,150 to help fight Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Schneider Agency donated $5.00 for every insurance quote given from May 1st through June 19th (Lou Gehrig’s birthday). Last year, the agency was able to raise $2,500, to help fight the disease. Over a three-year period the Agency has raised $7,600 to help fight ALS.
Customers who participated in this fundraiser received a special collectible Lou Gehrig baseball, courtesy of The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. The collectible baseballs were also given to those who make a $10.00 donation to the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter.
"We started this campaign three years ago," says Schneider. "Chris Scandaglia, my licensed account manager, came to me with the concept of this fundraiser to help bring awareness and raise money for ALS because he wanted to do something in memory of his grandfather who died of the disease in 1990. And I am happy our agency has brought awareness and donations to help ALS patients."
"I am thrilled that our office again stepped up to the plate and surpassed our donation of last year," says Scandaglia. “My family and I are thankful to Steven for allowing me to honor the memory of my Grandfather, Frank Gallinaro"
|Pictured, from left: Members of the Young Professionals Group, Lee Brodsky, Matt Lagoy, Rebecca Adeskavitz, Rachel Teutonico, Chapter Special Events Coordinator, Courtney Bollman, Chapter Special Events Assistant, Kristina DeSantis Wertheimer, Chris Scandaglia and Michael Rosenfeld.|
Over a year and a half ago, Rebecca Adeskavitz, Lee Brodsky, Matthew Lagoy, Michael Rosenfeld, Chris Scandaglia and Rachel Teutonico got together to establish the Greater New York Chapter’s Young Professionals Group. Since then, the group has almost doubled in size, with Christina Raia, Heather Roberts, Paige Rosenberg,Marisa Schwab and Cheryl Walpole, rounding out the group.
Many of the members are involved for similiar reasons as Rachel, whose father died of ALS in 1999. Rachel says, “ I wanted to become involved as a way to honor my dad’s fight with ALS and as a way to help raise money to find a cure so that other families would not have to go through what we did.”
Matt Lagoy says that the aim of the group is to “spread awareness, raise funds and have fun!”
Christina Raia, whose father died of ALS in 2005, explains,“I think it’s important for young people to be involved in the fight against ALS. First of all, it shows that people of all ages are affected by ALS. Also, the Young Professionals Group will bring a new generation of support to the Chapter, and by engaging a younger population, will ensure support for years to come.”
The group hopes that the Young Professionals Group will inspire other Chapters to begin their own groups. Lee Brodsky says, “My goal is to create a structure within the New York chapter to make it the pioneer Young Professionals group in the country. It will then act as the gold standard for every chapter in the country to replicate.” The Young Professionals Group has had great success in fundraising. Their first event in November of 2007 raised over $5,000. In May 2008, they hosted another event and started a Young Professionals Walk team, inviting their friends and other young professionals to join.
Today, the group has raised over $20,000 for the Chapter, to fund patient services and research. Lee hopes to see larger scale events in their future, like “a variety of events honoring rising stars of different industries, guest speakers, etc.”
Rachel says,“Right now our fundraisers have consisted of happy hour-type events, which I really think are great for the demographic that we are trying to reach. As we grow, I’d like to see bigger more upscale events, but we can’t lose sight of who our target audience is.”
For more information about joining the Young Professionals Group, contact Kristina DeSantis Wertheimer at 800.672.8857 or firstname.lastname@example.org