Tonight Dowling College will present a special Golden Lions Award to Chris Pendergast, a man who epitomizes dedication, dignity, and the spirit of giving.
The ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Ride For Life is an annual public awareness and fund-raising campaign. The Ride is conducted each May during ALS Awareness Month. Patients set out on their disability scooters and electric wheelchairs, along with supporters and travel at 3 MPH. Past Rides have been from Yankee Stadium to Washington DC, a distance of 350 miles. The journey took 15 days. The Ride first began in 1998 with Christopher Pendergast, an ALS patient and elementary school teacher from Miller Place, Long Island. He created the Ride event as a unique way to focus the attention of Americans on the deplorable condition of ALS research, treatment and funding. He also wanted a way for patients, families and friends to fight the disease. The trip has been an overwhelming success and became a rallying point for the ALS community. The Dowling College community rallied behind Christopher Pendergast and other ALS patients as we hosted a kickoff ceremony for Day #5 of the 2004 Ride For Life on May 12. Chris Pendergast is currently the President of ALS Ride For Life.
The 2001 ALS Ride For Life was moved to the metropolitan area, beginning at Montauk and ending in Manhattan, it covered about 150 miles and took 9 days. Since its inception, the Rides have raised approximately $750,000 for research and patient services through business and private donations. One beneficiary is the new ALS Clinic at SUNY Stony Brook University Hospital.
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