WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — The first-ever ALS “One Step at a Time” fundraising event will take place this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. in Washington Park, located at 110 Eyman Park Drive, with the goal to help support those “fighting the daily battle against ALS.”
The event, headed by organizer Kyle Reed, is hoping to bring together locals to help those afflicted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
According to the ALS Association website — als.org —, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This occurs when muscle in the spinal cord has “no nourishment” and begins to waste away, which results in a scarring or hardening in the afflicted region. “Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. When voluntary muscle action is progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe.”
Reed understands the reality of the disease all too well. He lost his father — Jim Reed — in July of 2019. He said recently, “As a family member of a loved one battling ALS, the disease, like so many others, makes you feel helpless.”
Jim, who worked as a foreman for Morton Buildings, was a fan of the Cincinnati Reds and the Ohio State University Buckeyes, and is remembered as the life of the party and the silent observer. For Jim, ALS began as just muscle twitches and grew into full on pain and aches, which resulted in him falling on job-sites and eventually to his passing.
After spending time buried under that helpless feeling, Reed decided he should use his experience to assist those struggling with the disease.
“After a long road to acceptance, I decided I had to do something to help others going through the same thing,” Reed said. “Putting together this event was a way to give back and do something positive after focusing on the negative for so long. It was a way to come out the other side of grief and use that energy to make a difference.”
The event will kick-off with a community walk through town. Registration for the walk will take place from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and pre-registration is available, as well as in-person the day of the event. For pre-registration, reach out to Reed on the Facebook “One Step at a Time: First Annual ALS Fundraising” event page or email [email protected].
The walk will begin at 11 a.m. and last approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Another portion of the event will include a cornhole tournament beginning at 12:30 p.m. The tournament will be a blind draw (teams will be drawn randomly) and is $15 per person with $5 toward the fundraiser and $10 toward the winning prize pool. Only the first place team will win, and the tournament will be double elimination.
Registration is available at https://app.scoreholio.com/link/1d2T or message the Facebook “One Step at a Time: First Annual ALS Fundraising” event page.
Local vendors will also be available during the event, including food from Steaks and Cakes, Bee Kind Candle Co., Campbells Creations, Golden Doodle Designs, and local woodworker selling handmade decorations, Brian Riley. Additionally, many local businesses have donated to the event, including Back-En-Thyme, Capuana’s Delicatessen, The Willow, Boxed Fitness, Super Sport Pizza, Main Street Creamery, Death Putt Disc Supply, Prime Meats & Deli, and The Rusty Keg, among others.
The goal of the fundraising campaign is $5,000 and is currently at 30%, or $1,545. Those interested in supporting the donation campaign can visit https://secure.alsohio.org/site/TR/DIY/General?px=1068102&pg=personal&fr_id=1080&fbclid=IwAR1AN8WsSc-h2CBZuTPaTdvn0PsclqF8k6WPsPBvFYjZTQhivteAIzquyoo.
For more information, once again reach out to Reed on the Facebook page “One Step at a Time: First Annual ALS Fundraising” event page or email [email protected].