EG Rotary Presents $62,000 Check to ALS-RI
Rotarian Dr. Judy Pratt receives ALS-RI Spirit of Lou Gehrig Award
The East Greenwich Rotary Club has added to their standing as the largest individual donor to ALS-RI with presentation of a check for $62,000 during the Association’s annual “Evening of Hope” celebration at the Newport Hyatt Regency.
The latest check brings the club’s contribution to ALS-RI to just under $400,000 and tops the $55,000 presented last year.
The money is generated by the Scott Carlson Memorial Road Race held each April and has grown substantially since generating $10,000 at the first race 12 years ago.
Long-time race director Judy Pratt was honored by the Association with their “Spirit of Lou Gehrig Award”. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) impacted the New York Yankee baseball great at the height of his career and is now commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated great compassion and an exceptional commitment to raising ALS awareness to support the ALS cause.
Pratt, a partner in the dental practice of McManus and Pratt at 4512 Post Road and has been involved in the race since the second year and race director for the last six years.
The East Greenwich Rotary club started the fund raising event after a personal appeal from Scott Carlson, the son-in-law of Rotarian Joyce Phipps. Carlson guided the race until his death in 2003 at the age of 39.
Dr. Pratt and her family lived next door to the Carlson’s and became part of a group of family and friends who were his support group as he battled the disease, which is always fatal.
ALS also impacted the family of Rotarian Dr. Robert Miller. The disease suddenly became very personal when Miller's sister was diagnosed. Miller, who had been a race volunteer before learning of his sister's diagnosis, was closely involved in her care until her death.
In addition to guiding the fund raising race each year, Miller and Pratt serve on the ALS-RI Board of Directors.
ALS is a fatal neurological disorder, characterized by progressive degeneration of motor cells in the spinal cord and brain. Since there is no cure, the primary treatment is the management of symptoms and improving the quality of life.
The Rhode Island ALS chapter provides a wide range of patient services and support, including home visits, support groups, medical equipment loans, respite care, handicapped transportation, home modifications and medical care at the Louise Wilcox Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic. The clinic is a huge patient resource, bringing together in a central location every type of doctor a patient will require to deal with the complications of the disease.
The Evening of Hope ceremony also includes the “Courage” award, honoring the memory of the late Providence Journal editorial columnist Brian Dickinson, who fought a long battle with ALS. In 2001 it was presented to Scott Carlson and his wife Hillary. This year’s recipient is Steven Schock, Ph.D., a researcher and professor in the field of ocean engineering. Although his condition continues to deteriorate, Dr. Schock maintains an aggressive work schedule, operating a computer which responds to the blink of his eyes.