Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Show of Strength for ALS

This past weekend, nearly 60 Port Authority employees flexed their muscles and showed off their strength for a great cause – the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

On Saturday, September 18, the second annual Bench Press for ALS fundraiser was held at the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies in East Liberty.

The event was founded last year by East Liberty Division bus drivers Harry Griggs and Noel Sheldon. The two friends and colleagues had long wanted to do something that would bring employees in Port Authority's divisions together. Both weightlifting enthusiasts, Harry and Noel decided a bench press event would be a great idea. When their division established a community outreach program last year, they knew the time was right to create the event and help out a worthy cause in the process.

Their connection to ALS came from Noel’s close friend Eric Zydel, president of the Board of Directors for the ALS Association’s Western Pennsylvania chapter. Eric’s wife, Mary Lou, passed away from the disease, in which motor neurons progressively deteriorate, causing a loss of voluntary muscle control.

There's currently no cure for ALS, but the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those dealing with the disease by providing care and equipment for local ALS patients, including nursing services, wheelchairs and speech generating devices.

All told, employees at Saturday's bench press event – bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance workers and more – raised more than $5,500 for the Association.

Check out Bench Press for ALS in the news:

For more information on ALS and how you can help, visit the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania's homepage.

No comments: