SPRINGFIELD — On August 29, Springfield’s Fort Street, from Main Street to East Columbus Avenue Downtown, will be closed for a special, Springfield Student Prince ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Event organizers have planned the effort to raise funds for the Massachusetts ALS Foundation and specifically to help people in our community who have been stricken with the disease. The event begins at 4 p.m. and organizers are encouraging participants to arrive by at least 3:30 p.m., as well as to register on-line at a special, Student Prince ALS Ice Bucket site: http://web.alsa.org/goto/FortStreetALSChallenge
“When Gov. Baker recently filed legislation making the first week in August each year the Ice Bucket Challenge Week, we took it as a special challenge to us here in Springfield, now, to help before the month of August ended. We did not want to wait until next year to begin this tradition,” said event organizer, Bill Sampson.
“We have just begun, and the response has been overwhelming, from people donating on line to people planning to join us on August 29. Our goal of raising funds to help those with ALS receive the special care ALS Massachusetts can provide them, combined with this being a great end-of-summer event where people can have some fun doing something great, has generated a lot of interest,” said Sampson.
ALS, Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis, is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. There are many costs and challenges that victims and their families endure, beyond what is covered by insurance.
“A group of us were gathered at The Student Prince, wondering what we could do to help. We know ALS Massachusetts really does some amazing things for the people they serve,” said Sampson. “They have the expertise and experience that most families are not equipped or trained to provide.
“Mayor (Domenic) Sarno and the city, the owners and the staff of The Student Prince and The Fort, have been instrumental, in just a week of planning, in helping us make this happen. We already have significant sponsors and know that we will have more names to announce, as well as the possibility of some very special guests who will attend.” The Blue Head Band is donating its time and talent. Also, the event has been able to attract local and state-wide organizations as sponsors, including: BID Springfield, The Massachusetts Lottery, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Rondeau Ice, Snap Chef, The Springfield Thunderbirds, A.L. Cignoli Company, Rocky’s Ace Hardware, and The Student Prince & Fort.