Live Like Lou Newsletter | In the Dugout | July 2022

ALS Awareness
Lou Gehrig

The First Pitch

In the Dugout is the quarterly newsletter for the LiveLikeLou Foundation and brings an inside look at the incredible work of our volunteers and researchers, shares how our funds help us leave ALS better than we found it, and highlights all we're doing in honor of our namesake and baseball hall of famer Lou Gehrig, and the more than 20,000 people living with Lou Gehrig's disease every day.

2022 Iron Horse Scholarship Recipients

The LiveLikeLou Foundation awarded 2022 Iron Horse Scholarships to four dependents of ALS families, bringing the number of awardees to sixteen since the national charity kicked off in 2018. The scholarship provides $2,130 per semester for up to four years for a total of $17,040 in support. Five one-time ONWARD Awards of $500 each were granted to semi-finalists. The Iron Horse Scholarship Committee, led by LiveLikeLou Treasurer Greyson Geiler, reviewed applications from a competitive pool of more than fifty applicants from throughout the United States and began the selection process in April.

Congratulations to LiveLikeLou’s 2022 Iron Horse Scholarship recipients:

Tag Bender, Indiana University

Erica Benton, Lorain County Community College

Maya Bulmer, Mills College

Olin Thompson IV, University of Rhode Island

Read more about these outstanding students’ accomplishments, stories, and future plans. 

Emerging ALS Researchers in Scottsdale

The LiveLikeLou Foundation hosted its biennial Emerging ALS Investigator Forum July 14-16, in Scottsdale, Arizona, in partnership with the Barrow Neurological Institute and University of Pittsburgh. This invitation-only event brought 74 emerging scientists in the ALS basic research field from 24 universities across North America to share emerging scientific ideas and methodologies.

Supported by a $130,000 grant from LiveLikeLou, the three-day program was developed by an esteemed group of ALS researchers and LiveLikeLou Scientific Research Committee members. Read more about the forum programming and LiveLikeLou's impact on emerging ALS research. 

Second Annual Lou Gehrig Day

The LiveLikeLou Foundation and Phi Delta Theta worked with five Major League Baseball teams to be a part of their 2022 Lou Gehrig Day celebrations in June, with 450 friends and supporters joining in on the celebrations.

In 2021, Major League Baseball announced it would celebrate Lou Gehrig Day league-wide annually on June 2. The date was selected to honor the date Lou became the Yankees’ starting first baseman, thus cementing the start of his incredible streak of 2,130 consecutive games played. It is also the day he passed from complications of ALS in 1941. 

Check out photos, stories, and videos to see how LiveLikeLou honored Lou's legacy and came together with friends from Phi Delta Theta (Lou's Fraternity!), the Permobil Foundation, and the ALS community to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease.

Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest" Speech

It was 83 years ago this month that Lou Gehrig stood before a packed crowd at Yankee Stadium and delivered the line that many still know him for as he told the world of his ALS diagnosis: “I might’ve been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for."

ALS kept the 36-year-old mighty hall of famer from holding the trophies handed to him that day. His arms were weak, so he set them on the ground. The disease forced him from the game he loved, despite his .340 lifetime batting average and a record 2,130 consecutive games played. ALS would take his life just two years later.

His bravery, humility, courage, and gratitude in the face of what had to be profound sorrow for all that he lost and all he was about to face would make him a household name. This moment transformed the Iron Horse into a role model for every person facing life's challenges and everyone who has ever loved anyone with ALS. And this is the reason we choose to 'live like Lou.'

Live Like Lou All-Star

Jeff Dankwerth is a Phi Delta Theta alumnus from Cal Poly who lives in the Bay Area in California. Jeff was matched with the Creaven family in late 2020, and together with Mark Hilliard, a Saint Louis University Phi Delt, they raked leaves and cleaned up the family’s yard. “This was a great help to us as we care for our son, Patrick, who was diagnosed with ALS in July 2020,” shared Bridget Creaven. Jeff continued to visit and support the family as Patrick’s ALS progressed much faster than anticipated.

Jeff learned of Patrick’s interest in the Oakland A’s and used his network to reach out to Stephen Piscotty, an Oakland A’s player who lost his mom to ALS. As a result, Stephen provided a personal video message for Patrick! Additionally, Jeff has gone on to serve an additional ALS warrior, Laura Hanson. With Laura, Jeff attended LiveLikeLou’s Lou Gehrig Day activities last month in San Francisco. We are so thankful to our outstanding and dedicated volunteers for their support of ALS warriors and their families!

Join us in Nashville | Second Annual Shootout 4 ALS

Join us for the LiveLikeLou Foundation’s Second Annual Shootout 4 ALS Sporting Clays Tournament on Friday, October 14, 2022, at the Nashville Gun Club. All proceeds support LiveLikeLou's campaign to fund new ALS research capabilities at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.Register today and save $50! Early bird pricing only lasts until midnight on July 31. Don't miss this deal for a chance to meet other sporting clays enthusiasts and enjoy the scenic property of the Nashville Gun Club along the Cumberland River and help us take aim at Lou Gehrig's disease!

LLL Giveaway

Just in time for your end of summer travel, four lucky fans of LiveLikeLou on social media will be sent a LiveLikeLou luggage tag – be sure you're following us and tag a friend before July 30 to win!

The Final Inning

As we wrap up this quarter's In the Dugout, we look back on an incredible few months of progress, activity, and devotion for LiveLikeLou. Here are just a few of the many additional highlights of what we've been up to:

  • When our friends at Phi Delta Theta Fraternity helped launch the LiveLikeLou Foundation, they set out to raise $4 million in the organization's first 1,848 days in honor of Phi Delt's founding year of 1848. This goal was reached in only 1,579 days, and we'll be near $6 million before the organization's 1,848th day! Wow!
  • The LiveLikeLou Board of Trustees met in Scottsdale, Arizona, and reviewed a draft of the organization's first strategic plan. 
  • More than 100 ALS families have registered for LiveLikeLou's outdoor clean-up program in 2022 which nearly surpasses our registrations in all of 2021 – we are honored to serve mighty ALS families facing this disease!

We'll be back in touch in a few months with even more good news. Thank you for your interest in the LiveLikeLou Foundation and our work to leave ALS better than we found it.

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In the Dugout