May 15, 2007 - WASHINGTON, DC
The ALS Association recognizes that each individual in the ALS community plays a crucial role in changing public policy. Each year at their National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference, the Association sponsors a ceremony to celebrate achievements and to honor individuals. One of the awards that the ALS Association presents is the Rasmussen Advocate of the Year Award. This year, Jerry Dawson, President of the ALS Association - Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter was awarded this national honor for his hard work at the local and national levels. “Receiving this award was a great honor, but I know it would not have been possible without the support of many other advocates,” Dawson said. “When I asked people to attend meetings, make calls or write letters, they responded. This award may have my name on it, but it belongs to all of us.”
Dawson spearheaded efforts which resulted in increased local exposure in the North Carolina legislature. He also worked to build personal relationships with lawmakers resulting in Representative David Price sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, requesting that the Department of Defense allocate funds to support ALS research initiatives. Studies have shown conclusively that members of the military are twice as likely to develop ALS.
The Rasmussen Advocate of the Year Award is the latest in a string of awards that the Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter has received recently. In January, the Chapter was named Chapter of the Year and also received the Iron Horse Award for exceptional revenue growth while keeping fundraising and administrative expenses low. In December, the Chapter's walks were recognized, taking the top fundraising award for their market group.