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Support for the UMass ALS Champion Fund continues

Champion Fund supportPosted: March 2014

In the summer of 2012, Buddy Valastro—also known as the Cake Boss—and his family announced that their beloved mother, Mary, had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The tremendous outpouring of support from friends, family and Cake Boss fans inspired the Valastros to form the Momma Mary Foundation to raise awareness and funds to support ALS research.

The foundation hosted its first fundraising gala in Rockleigh, N.J., on October 23, 2012, which raised $120,000 to benefit the UMass ALS Champion Fund and the groundbreaking research of Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair in Medical Research, being conducted at UMass Medical School.

The following March, Andrew Lund, a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, organized a bowl-a-thon fundraiser for the Champion Fund on behalf of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Quinsigamond Community College (where he was once a student). This was the society’s third annual event, which raised nearly $8,000.

In April 2013, a team of six fundraisers committed to running the Boston Marathon in support of the Champion Fund. This was the second year that John Hancock, principal sponsor of the race, accepted the Champion Fund into its nonprofit bib program. Three out of the six runners were able to finish the race, which was shattered by the bomb explosions that occurred at the finish line that day. Those who were unable to finish will have an opportunity to do so—and continue their fundraising—at the 2014 marathon. Fundraising efforts for the 2013 Champion Fund team resulted in nearly $63,000 in donations.

Story published in the 2013 Annual Report of Donors (pdf).


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