Rotary Club of Indian Rocks Beach members prepare for the start of last year’s Ride to Defeat ALS.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Nearly 500 cyclists are expected to participate in the third annual Ride to Defeat ALS Saturday, Nov. 3, at Walsingham Park.
The Rotary Club of Indian Rocks Beach has a team in the event again. Riders can join Team IRB Rotary by riding their bicycles for a metric century (62.1 miles), 25 miles or 5 miles. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $150 through pledges. There also are volunteer opportunities for those not wishing to ride. The club will handle parking duties as well as staffing a rest stop on Clearwater Beach. Help us win the “Best Rest Stop” award.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. Patients are robbed of the ability to walk, eat, speak, and eventually breathe.
The disease has hit close to home for club members.
At the IRB Rotary Officer Installation Luau Dinner on July 16, 2011, Rotary Past President Michael Schulz had concerns about his mother, Herta Schulz. She and Willi, her husband of 51 years, were attending the Luau that evening.
“Herta was having difficulty speaking and slurring her words. In the weeks to follow, the news was devastating. Herta Schulz, beloved mother, wife, sister, Oma, and friend to so many, was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a deadly disease that affects the motor neurons the brain and spinal cord. One year later on August 29, 2012, Herta lost her battle with ALS,” the Rotary Club’s website says.
Riders are asked to raise a minimum of $150 through pledges. Donations also can be made on behalf of participants in the race.
The funds raised during the cycling event will support research, programs and services for people living with ALS in Florida.
Last year the team raised more than $5,200 for ALS research.