MIAMI – In 2010, corporate philanthropy hit its lowest levels since 2000, but thanks to a committed group of local residents, the ALS Recovery Fund enjoyed its best financial year since its inception. And with good reason. With no cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the deadly degenerative disease of the nervous system better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the ALS Recovery Fund can’t afford to have a ‘wait until next year’ approach to fundraising.
Kevin E. Packman, a partner with Holland & Knight, and the organization’s Chairman and CEO; Adam J. Silverman, a partner with Breier, Seif, Silverman & Schermer, P.A., and the organization’s President; and Donna M. Singer, the organization’s Executive Vice President, each have a deeply personal connection to the disease, and a tireless hope that it can one day be cured. Packman and Silverman have both lost parents to the disease, and Singer has lost her husband. Research for the disease is scarce, and the hunt for a cure is a definitive uphill battle.
“The year ahead will be especially tough for nonprofits as governments cut back their spending, and many charities will increasingly rely on big donors to finance vital community operations,” said Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle in Philanthropy. With an improving roster of fundraising events on tap for 2011, the ALS Recovery Fund hopes to continue to buck that trend for years to come.
“We have a tough time bringing awareness to this disease,” said Packman. “It’s uncomfortable for people to hear about an incurable disease with a death sentence, but that’s the reality that many families face every year. We believe we have a responsibility to help find a cure.” Silverman added, “This is an orphan disease with no success or survival stories, but that is something we are working to change.”
This year, the organization will host the 15th Annual Jose A. Perez ALS Golf Classic at the Doral Country Club and Resort on April 16. The event is organized by ALS Recovery Fund board members, Albert and Jose Perez, who lost their father to ALS. The organization will also host the 10th Annual ALS Recovery Fund 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk in Coconut Grove on May 7.
The ALS Recovery Fund website serves as a gateway for opportunities to support research, learn more about the disease, and to participate in the organization’s fundraising events.
“We refuse to accept the notion that ALS is a death sentence,” said Packman. “We’re thankful to every single supporter we have, but we still have a long way to go.”
To learn more about the ALS Recovery Fund, visit www.alsrecovery.org.
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