Using Art to Bring Hope to Our ALS Community: Melissa Stephens
Melissa Stephens is a Bay Area-based encaustic painting instructor who is volunteering her time to raise ALS awareness in honor of her sister, Lynn, who has been living with ALS since 2020. Melissa decided to hold an educational fundraising art exhibition, Hope Lives: Art for ALS, at the San Francisco Women Artists Gallery in May during ALS Awareness Month. In addition, Melissa became a Team Captain for one of Northern California’s Walk to Defeat ALS programs, which includes East Bay and Silicon Valley. She is committed to helping the Golden West Chapter raise funds for our ALS community.
Students Helping the ALS Community: Kappa Sigma Hawaii
Mahalo to University of Hawaii’s biggest fraternity, Kappa Sigma Hawaii, which boasts over 50 active members and hundreds of alumni. In 2016, more than 20 Kappa Sigma members volunteered at the Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS – they helped with event setup, cheered at the start and finish lines, and assisted with all aspects of cleaning up after our day at Kapiolani Park.
After their first event, Kappa Sigma Hawaii saw the need for more volunteers and were motivated to volunteer every year. After the virtual events of the last two years, we are thrilled that they will be joining us once again, IN PERSON, to volunteer this year!
Caring for Those Affected by ALS: Team Select Home Care
Team Select Home Care has been a proud supporter of the Walk to Defeat ALS in Southern California since 2019. During the 2020-2021 Virtual Walk to Defeat ALS events, the staff at Team Select played an instrumental role in helping deliver Walk Day kits to teams and families living with ALS in Greater Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. Volunteering with organizations such as the Golden West Chapter is part of what truly drives Team Select and creates, what they call, The Team Select Difference.
“We love supporting our local communities and advocating alongside the Golden West Chapter for the families facing ALS that we serve. It’s a passion! The many people who live with ALS are what inspire us to keep going and, hopefully, make a difference,” shares Brandon Godfrey, Operations Manager for Team Select Home Care. Thank you for your ongoing support of our ALS community Team Select Home Care!
Helping Strike Out ALS/Lou Gehrig Disease: Cody Aleshire
Cody Aleshire’s involvement with the Golden West Chapter began when he was assigned a project in the 4th grade about, “American Heroes,” and chose to report on Lou Gehrig. The legacy of the baseball legend left such an impression on Cody that, even at the age of nine, he was moved to make a difference for those families that are facing ALS.
His heart led him to an opportunity with his local Walk to Defeat ALS community in Central California, which includes Monterey Bay, Central Valley, and Kern County. Cody became a captain for his Walk team, Cody’s Crew. From thereon, Cody has been an active member in support of our ALS community and to date, has raised nearly $44,500 to power the mission of the Golden West Chapter. Cody has also dedicated himself to raise awareness and support through Minor League Baseball Strike Out Lou Gehrig Disease Days.
This fall will mark 7 years of volunteerism for Cody through the Walk to Defeat ALS. We’re grateful to this dynamic young man, whose commitment to philanthropy is surely leading to a very bright future.
The Power of Youth Leadership in Action: JT5k Volunteer Committee
The 8th annual Jim Tracy 5k to Defeat ALS returns IN-PERSON on Sunday, April 24 in Golden Gate Park. Since its inception, this student-led, community event, held in memory of beloved San Francisco University High School coach, Jim Tracy, has grown exponentially with each year. From securing celebrity runners or community sponsorships, to hosting bake sales to support their fundraising goals, these students know no bounds in their endeavors to make personal bests in the fight to defeat ALS. Learn more about the exceptional legacy of the Jim Tracy 5k to Defeat ALS Volunteer Committee.
Serving Veterans and Hawaii’s ALS Community: Jeff Conway
Mahalo to Jeff Conway, a former Naval Aviator who has been living with ALS since 2014. Jeff has continuously supported others through his team, 808 ALS Vets, at the Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS, and was the #1 individual Golden West Chapter Walk fundraiser in 2021! Jeff is deeply committed to raising ALS awareness, especially for military veterans, who are at greater risk of being diagnosed with ALS in comparison to those without history of military service. Jeff also has participated in many different ALS awareness efforts, including media interviews and corporate educational events. He has participated for many years as an ALS advocate and serves as an advisory trustee. We admire and applaud Jeff’s commitment, while living with ALS, to help others now and in the future to BEAT ALS!
Caring for the ALS community in Northern California: TheKey
For 20 years, TheKey (formerly Home Care Assistance) has provided quality in-home care, supporting older adults with a wide range of needs including people living with ALS. In 2018, the company became a dedicated supporter of the Golden West Chapter and the Walk to Defeat ALS. During the 2020-2021 Virtual Walk to Defeat ALS events, the staff at TheKey were instrumental in helping ensure participants received their team kits and generously supplied our kits with additional goodies like lip balms and snacks. Their personalized video for the Executive Splash as a part of the Walk Kickoff was entertaining and effective in our efforts to raise nearly $1.2 million for the fight against ALS. This year, they are returning to our program as a Regional Sponsor for our walk communities in the East Bay and Silicon Valley. Thank you to TheKey for your continued support of the ALS community and our Chapter.
Giving back to the community: Ferrari Club
This past year when a beloved club member was diagnosed with ALS, members of the Ferrari Club of America Monterey Peninsula Chapter didn’t think twice about choosing the Walk to Defeat ALS program in Central California, which includes Monterey, Central Valley, and Kern County, to be the beneficiary of their annual “Celebrazione Luncheon” fundraiser. Every year the “Celebrazione Luncheon” fundraiser is for a different local charity. This volunteer-led effort is raising awareness and funds through their Walk to Defeat ALS team, Alpha Danny. Thank you to The Ferrari Club!
Dedicated to our Mission and the ALS community: Loreen Zuccaro
After Loreen Zuccaro’s husband, Dr. Paul Zuccaro, was diagnosed with ALS in 2013, they joined the Inland Empire Walk to Defeat ALS in support of the Golden West Chapter’s mission. Sadly, Paul died in 2017, but Loreen has continued to help raise ALS awareness and funds. She is returning for her 11th year as a Co-Captain of Top Fundraising team, Hearts for ALS. As a volunteer for the Walk Planning Committee, her help impacts our entire Walk to Defeat ALS program in Southern California, including the Greater Los Angeles Walk. We are forever grateful to Loreen for her dedication to our mission and the ALS community.