As I sit here contemplating what the last year has brought to CCALS, I am amazed at what has happened. It is beyond my wildest imagination. We have added new staff members who allow us to meet the needs of the continually growing number of families requesting our services, we have developed partnerships with major research institutions, we have made great strides in realizing my dream of building our ALS Education and Retreat Center and we have seen many individuals and organizations support our work. The highlights of the last year for me include:
CCALS’ becoming a founding member of ALS One
ALS One is a partnership between Mass. General Hospital, UMASS Medical Center in Worcester, ALS TDI and Compassionate Care ALS to bring CARE and a CURE to ALS. Through this organization CCALS has assisted in developing a release agreement with MGH and has worked with the ALS clinic to share information about treatment and care for over 70 patients. CCALS has also dedicated one of our handicapped accessible vans to transport ALS patients to clinical trials at all three research partners and hired new staff members to support additional referrals from ALS One partners. This is just the beginning and we are looking forward to a long partnership with these institutions.
CCALS held an enormously successful Gala that raised more than $250,000
The Fairmont Copley hosted a star-studded evening on Friday, May 20 to benefit Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS). The Gala raised over $250,000 in support of care for patients and families living with ALS. The evening was hosted by former WCVB-TV news anchor Natalie Jacobson and featured a talk from best-selling author Lisa Genova. Also in the audience were former WCVB-TV weatherman Dick Albert as well as Chris and Peyton Lambton of Bachelorette and Bachelor fame.
A Challenge Grant that will allow us to complete construction of our Education and Retreat Center
One of our families has issued a dollar for dollar challenge grant that will match donations supporting our new Education and Retreat Center. All donations towards the campaign will be matched up to a total of $500,000 through November 20, 2016. When fully realized this generous grant will allow us to complete construction and begin programming at the Center. For more information and to contribute to the center please visit www.ccals.org/retreat.
As you can see, we continue to be very busy in great ways. I hope to cross paths with many of you along the journey over the next six months to ensure we maximize our challenge grant.