Students ‘tag out’ Gehrig’s disease

By Sky Opila

Matt Goldstick and his volunteers will be draped in bright yellow collecting donations on Green Street for the Les Turner ALS Foundation, Friday.

“This is my first opportunity to help out the cause,” Goldstick said. “It gives me a chance to give something back to my close family friends who suffered because of this disease.”

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., about 100 volunteers will be out on Green Street collecting donations to “tag out” a disease made synonymous with baseball player Lou Gehrig, who died at the age of 37 from the disease.

“We will be wearing yellow, plaid aprons and carrying large yellow change buckets,” said Goldstick, junior in Business. “We will also be passing out Lou Gehrig baseball cards to raise awareness (of the disease).”

More than four times as many people are diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease than are diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, said Beth Richman, director of public relations for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

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“In 1977, a man named Les Turner was diagnosed with ALS,” Richman said. “With the help of his friends and family, they started this foundation to raise money and awareness. Their goal was to gain funding for a research laboratory.”

All proceeds from the event will benefit patient and family support programs in Illinois.

This event is happening in conjunction with national ALS awareness month in May.

In addition to the canning drive on Green Street, there will also be a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association held at Station 211, 211 E. Green St., at 5 p.m.

Wristbands for the event are $8 and give donors the chance to receive certain drink specials and 15 raffle tickets. Raffle tickets can be purchased after the initial 15 at the price of four tickets for $1 or 25 tickets for $5. Raffle tickets give donors the opportunity to win prizes such as iPod Shuffles and parties at Hooters.

The money raised by Garretson at Station Friday night will directly benefit local families.