Student org takes a stand against ALS

April 16, 2014

By Josh Hafemeister

Each year, approximately 5,600 U.S. citizens are diagnosed with ALS. The life expectancy of people diagnosed with ALS averages between two to five years from the time of diagnosis, according to alsa.org.

ALS stands for Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“ALS is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerves that help with muscle movement and over time a person loses control of their voluntary muscle,” according to the American Marketing Association’s flier for their charity event, “Raising for a Reason: Fighting for a Stronger Tomorrow.”The AMA will host the charity event from 7 to 10 p.m. on May 9, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Madison. The money raised from the raffle will support The ALS Foundation, a group dedicated to increasing awareness of the disease and raising funds to research a cure. The ALS Foundation already has raised more than $67 million.

Originally, AMA’s charity event was to be held April 5. Due to scheduling concerns, AMA decided to move it to May. AMA generally holds the charity raffle in the UC Hamilton Room, but as the room was already booked, AMA decided to hold the event in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Julie Kuhrt, junior and vice president of the charity raffle, said she and the rest of the team working on the charity have been busy gathering support from local businesses.

“A lot of what we’ve been doing now is going around to different businesses and also reaching out by calling them and asking for donations to support our cause and raise money,” Kuhrt said. “What we’re doing is we’re getting donations we can raffle off or we can auction off.”

Raffle prizes include gift cards to places in Whitewater and Janesville such as Jimmy Johns, Rosas or Wal-Mart. Several businesses such as Starbucks and others donated gift baskets filled with coffee, golfing equipment, and beer and wine baskets. Kuhrt said she estimates they have around 50 prizes so far.

Last year, AMA raised a total of $10,000 for Donate Life America, a non-profit group of organizations across the U.S. that seeks to promote organ donation. Kuhrt said their goal for this year is to raise more than $10,000 for The ALS Foundation.

Senior Dan Becker is co-vice president of the event alongside of Kuhrt.

“Me and Julie started planning this over winter break,” Becker said. “This is our sixth, I think, charity raffle.”

Becker said because of scheduling issues, the event has been moved to the end of the year.

“We’re moving it to our end of the year banquet,” Becker said.

Senior Sara Metz is president of AMA and supervises the event but said Kuhrt and Becker are running the actual event.

“So we’re thinking we’re going to have our banquet, which is just our end of semester banquet for awards, and senior sendoff, and then the actual [charity] event,”Metz said.

Kuhrt said the event will have a casino theme. Attendees can purchase chips which can be used to purchase raffle tickets.

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