In August 2014, Pat Quinn of Yonkers, NY and Pete Frates of Boston, MA, both ALS patients, co-founded the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The effort became a global phenomenon with more than 17 million videos of people taking the challenge being posted on Facebook last year.
A year later will bring a re-launch of the effort and Quinn has been joined by Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, City Council President Liam McLaughlin and Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway to make it an unforgettable event.
On Sunday, August 2 at 2pm hundreds will gather trackside at Yonkers Raceway where Quinn will lead participants in a simultaneous ice bucket challenge to reignite the viral social media movement through the month of August to benefit ALS research. The first 1,000 participants will receive a free 2015 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge t-shirt courtesy of Empire City Casino.
To participate, a person dumps a bucket of ice and water over his or her head, challenging three friends to either do the same, donate to the ALS charity of their choice, or both. To date, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has generated more than $220 million in donations for ALS-oriented nonprofits. Many of those donations have been invested or allocated to support new ALS research efforts, increased advocacy, and expanded and improved local care and services for people diagnosed with ALS, their families, and care providers.
There is no known cure for the disease. However, as a result of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, significant new investments in research on the cause of and potential treatments for ALS have been made. For the first time in a long time, the ALS community has reason to hope.
“Pat Quinn’s fight and determination to combat this horrible disease has been nothing short of inspirational,” said Mayor Spano. “With Pat as our fearless leader, the City of Yonkers hopes to recharge the energy we all felt last summer as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge. We encourage any and all to join us on August 2 so we can continue to make strides in finding a cure to ALS.”
“We are excited and proud to be involved in such an important effort,” said Tim Rooney, president and CEO of Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. “Having lost my uncle, Fr. Silas Rooney, to this disease my family is all too familiar with its devastating effects. Efforts to raise awareness and research funds are vital and must continue.”
Pat Quinn commented, “I’m beyond grateful for the continued support from Mayor Mike Spano, City Council President Liam McLaughlin, and the entire City of Yonkers. Last summer, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge brought new hope and a unified sense of fight to ALS patients all over the world. I’m extremely proud to know Quinn for the Win and Yonkers were a major catalyst in making this happen. We are now living by the mantra, ‘Every August Until A Cure’. Although last summer did wonders for our battle, we still have no treatment. We still have no cure. Please join me August 2nd at Empire City Casino to kickoff the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Yonkers. Not only will it be fun, you will be a part of something special.”
“Yonkers is proud to host to the re-launch of the ALS ice bucket challenge,” Council President McLaughlin said. “Pat Quinn, the Quinn family and our friends at Empire City and Home Depot have done so much to make this event a success which will set the bar for raising awareness about ALS nationwide. Pat has courageously and selflessly turned his battle with ALS into one of the largest movements this world has ever seen. We are proud to join him in that effort.”
Anyone interested in registering to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge at Empire City Casino on August 2nd is urged to do so at www.yonkersny.gov. Participants will be provided a bucket donated by Home Depot, ice and water. The afternoon also will feature music and family-friendly entertainment for all to enjoy.
Donations are not required to participate. Proceeds from the event will be donated to “Quinn for the Win,” a not-for-profit ALS organization.
Mayor Spano added, “Special thanks to our partners at Empire City Casino and Home Depot for committing to the cause and once again being good neighbors to Yonkers. We are proud that our Yonkers community is joining forces to support Pat Quinn and others fight ALS.”
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients begin to suffer from muscle weakness and muscle atrophy. They can lose the ability to easily handle simple tasks like shaving or buttoning a shirt. In the later stages of the disease, patients may become completely paralyzed. ALS is a disease with no known cure.
Pat Quinn, 32 years old, was diagnosed with ALS in March 2013. For more information, visit www.yonkersny.gov, www.quinn4thewin.com and www.facebook.com/Quinnforthewin.