Third annual Stroll, Roll 'n' Run event seeks sponsors to raise funds for ALS

Jan. 27, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 29, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.

The third annual Stroll, Roll 'n' Run event will honor Craig Fox, the big and boisterous father and friend who died in August after living nearly four years with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Bill Hassel, best known as Pastor Bill, created the yearly 5-kilometer race after his own diagnosis with ALS.

"To watch Craig die of it and realize I was, in effect, watching a mirror of my own future, only serves to enhance my resolve and with all my PALS (patients with ALS) to do everything I can so that nobody behind me will have to face life with ALS," Hassel said in an email.

The last two years of the Stroll, Roll 'n' Run have raised a combined $43,000 for ALS research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute. Hassel said he's hoping the community continues to show its support this year.

"It has been 132 years since (ALS) was listed as a disease here, over 70 years since Lou Gehrig died of it," Hassel wrote. "Five people in Victoria have been diagnosed with it over the last five years, with one death and one newly diagnosed in 2011. And still no cure or treatment. But we live in hope that one will soon be found."

ALS is a disease that eventually - and sometimes quickly - renders useless every muscle in the bodies of its victims. Accordingly, some ALS patients can't run, some can't walk and some can't roll themselves in a wheelchair anymore, Hassel said.

But Stroll, Roll 'n' Run caters to them all.

The event will be in Riverside Park on March 4. Before then, event volunteers are looking for sponsors.

Sponsors can support the event with money or in-kind donations for the racer's "goodie bag," the silent auction or for food and refreshments at the race.

Hassel also encouraged sponsors to come for a day in the park and said the event will happen rain or shine.

"We'd love to walk, run and roll wet this year."



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