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Buffalo Walk to Defeat ALS takes place Saturday downtown

The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter will host its annual Buffalo Walk to Defeat ALS Saturday at Coca-Cola Field.

Registration is required and starts at 9:30 a.m.; the walk kicks off at 11.

All are welcome to participate and funds raised will support care services programs, research, advocacy and building awareness for the regional ALS Association.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating and fatal neuromuscular disease with limited treatment options and no cure. The association looks to create a world without ALS and is the only national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated exclusively to fighting the disease.

The upstate chapter serves hundreds of people – including those with ALS and their families – in 48 counties. The chapter provides programs that include Caregiver Respite Grants, Assistance Grants, educational and support groups, caregiver trainings and a medical equipment loan closet. Those touched by ALS can access any or all programs. At no time is there a cost.

[OF NOTE: Loved ones of Michael Maloney, a strong advocate for the ALS Association who died earlier this year, will walk in his honor on Saturday and are the second highest fundraising team]

The Walk to Defeat ALS is the association’s national signature event, and the largest ALS fundraising event in the United States. Last year’s Buffalo Walk had 824 participants and raised more than $162,000. This year’s goal is to raise $175,000 to continue to sustain high quality patient care and support cutting-edge research.

“Honorary Person with ALS” Lonnie Nowak will lead this year’s Buffalo walk. Nowak was chosen “for many reasons, particularly her positive nature and smile in the face of challenges,” Care Services Coordinator Julie Garland said.  “With the ongoing support of her loving family, she has willingly supported other families and ‘pALS’ with her quiet guidance and through sharing her experiences.”

Others serving on the Buffalo Walk to Defeat ALS committee include Robert Doren, Suzanne Engasser, Russ Fuller, Mark Herle, Eileen Maloney, Maureen Myers, Jay Nowak, Louann Rehwaldt, Meggan Sullivan, Ken Swain, Nancy Universal, and Robert and Helen Zaffram.

Those who wish to participate can register online at or the day of the event at the registration table outside the shelter area behind right field at Coca-Cola Field. For information on the ALS upstate chapter, visit


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