Gordon T. Heald was an active New England businessman who participated in and gave generously to local charities. In 1997 he was diagnosed with ALS. When CCALS Founder/Executive Director Ron Hoffman and Gordon’s wife Betsy took on the role of full-time caregivers for Gordon, they discovered how great a need there was for ALS CARE. Gordon, too, was overwhelmed by the impact CARE had on his quality of life. He decided his legacy would be an organization to support ALS patients, caregivers and their families. Upon his death with ALS in October 1998 his obituary generated the seed money for Compassionate Care ALS.
For five years Ron Hoffman oversaw the Gordon T. Heald Fund, helping ALS families in need purchase equipment such as home ramps, bath and shower chairs, and other expensive items rarely covered by insurance. He also offered personal support and guidance. In 2003 Hoffman founded Compassionate Care ALS, encompassing the Heald Fund and expanding its services to include families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals – in addition to ALS patients.
Gordon T. Heald was larger than life: entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community leader. Gordon loved people and loved helping people. His generous spirit motivated his philanthropy and mentorship of young professionals. Committed environmentalist, Gordon supported conservation efforts on the Cape as a benefactor and board member of the Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuary in Falmouth. Gordon owned and ran the Wicker Tree restaurant, known for its singing waiters and musical revue, for more than a decade and then Wicker Tree catering for years following. He could often be spotted driving his favorite sports car, or heading to choir rehearsal with the Saengerfest Chorus.