Race will benefit people with terminal disease


March 2, 2011 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.

Organizers are hoping the second ALS Stroll Roll 'n' Run on Sunday will bring together the community for Christian worship and to raise money to cure a motor neuron disease.

A mid-morning service will kick off the event hosted by the Rev. Bill Hassel, former pastor of First English Lutheran Church. Hassel was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS in 2008 and started the race last year.

ALS is a terminal disease where people slowly lose function of their voluntary muscles. Hassel is losing his ability to speak.

Hassel will lead the service from the home plate at Riverside Stadium and with the help of an automated device. He, along with a group of local people living with the disease will lead worship.

"We wanted to get together and worship before the race but we decided to invite the whole city," said the Rev. Amy Danchik, pastor of Christ the Victor Lutheran Church, who is also helping organize the event.

A lunch, silent auction and 5K timed run will follow along with a wheelchair race and children's run.

Organizers are expecting about 500 people and hope to exceed last year's fundraising of $18,000.

Racers must register the day of the event and will receive a goodie bag, lunch and entry into a prize drawing.



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