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Saturday's halftime show dedicated to fighting ALS

Oct. 1, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's marching band is dedicating its halftime show this weekend to a national fundraising campaign to combat ALS--Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

The Bronco Marching Band is one of 20 such bands from around the country participating in Marching for Hope, which calls on participants to dedicate one halftime performance this football season to ALS Association fundraising. The WMU band has chosen to focus its efforts on the University's Homecoming game at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, against the University of Idaho.

"We're raising money throughout the season but are dedicating this weekend's halftime show specifically for the cause," says David W. Montgomery, Bronco Marching Band director. "Our goal is to raise $45,000, or as close to that as we can. All money raised stays in Michigan and supports the Michigan Chapter of the ALS Association."

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes its victims to become completely paralyzed. The disease results in a patient's muscles wasting away. Gradually, the patient is robbed of the ability to walk, speak, eat and eventually breathe. There is no cure for ALS, and upon diagnosis, patients are given only two to five years to live.

Marching for Hope aims to fund research to find a cure for ALS as well as to fund patient services that help people suffering with the devastating illness. The program began in 2009 as a pilot project with only Kansas University and the University of Houston participating. Those schools raised a combined total of nearly to $30,000. This year, 18 additional bands at major universities, including WMU, have joined forces to raise substantially more money.

For more information about the ALS fundraiser, including other ways to donate, visit the Bronco Marching Band online, or contact WMU's David Montgomery at (269) 387-4702.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400