MARKHAM, ON, April 26, 2012 – Cold Lake, Alberta residents Pat and Michelle Feduniak will receive the ALS Society of Canada’s Mary Pollock WALK for ALS Volunteer Award for their leadership and commitment in organizing the Cold Lake, Alberta WALK for ALS, during an awards ceremony to be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Toronto, on April 28.
For the past 11 years, the Feduniaks have actively organized the WALK for ALS in Cold Lake. Their commitment to the annual event began when Michelle Feduniak lost her mother to ALS more than 10 years ago. The Feduniaks are very innovative in their fundraising effort for the Walks; Pat spends numerous days outside a local grocery store to raise pledges for the Walk. By doing this every year, he has established a presence in the community for the Walk, while helping to spread awareness about the disease.
The Feduniaks have created a memory board – displayed at the Walk every year – so families can proudly post pictures and stories of their loved ones for remembrance. To celebrate the Cold Lake Walk’s 10th anniversary, the Feduniaks arranged for a local radio station to do a live broadcast of the Walk.
“Michelle’s leadership undoubtedly has been one of the main reasons for the success and growth of the Cold Lake Walk,” said Karen Caughey, executive director, ALS Society of Alberta. “Michelle and Pat’s commitment and passion to make a difference represents the spirit of the Mary Pollock WALK for ALS for Volunteer Award. They selflessly give their time to make a difference for people living with and affected by ALS.”
The Mary Pollock WALK for ALS Volunteer Award is given to an outstanding WALK for ALS volunteer(s). The award recognizes and celebrates outstanding contributions and achievement in developing the Walk to its fullest potential. This award honours Mary Pollock, who died of ALS in 2000.
ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease that causes the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As the nerve cells die, people with ALS lose control of their muscles, which makes breathing, eating and even smiling almost impossible. Eighty per cent of those diagnosed will die within two to five years.
The ALS Society of Canada, founded in 1977, is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS and support for those living with ALS. The Society funds research towards a cure for ALS, supports provincial partners in the provision of quality care for those living with ALS, and provides information to build awareness about the disease.
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For more information, please contact:
ALS Society of Alberta
1-888-309-1111 ext. 103
Director of Communications
ALS Society of Canada
1-800-267-4257 ext. 208