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The ALS Association Jim “Catfish” Hunter Named Chapter of the Year for Second Year in a Row

March 2008

NEWPORT BEACH, CA -- The ALS Association has recognized the Jim "Catfish" Hunter Chapter as Chapter of the year for the second consecutive year at the 2008 Annual Conference in Newport Beach, California.

The Catfish Chapter, which provides services to over 600 people living with ALS in North Carolina, was recognized for its overall excellence in management, leadership development, fundraising, community outreach, patient services, advocacy, research funding, and working effectively with the National Office.

The Chapter also won both the Iron Horse Award for outstanding revenue development and expense management and Top Walk Revenue for Market Group 3 for the second year in a row.

Along with the awards mentioned above, the Chapter also won awards for "Excellence In Advocacy," "Brand Identity & Public Awareness," "Best Walk Media," and "Top Performing Eastern Region Chapter." In winning the "Top Performing Eastern Region Chapter" award for the Walks, the Catfish Chapter will receive a Permobil® power wheelchair, valued at $30,000, for the Chapter loan closet. Overall, the Catfish Chapter more than doubled the number of awards it won last year.

“Our donors, volunteers, board members and staff will do whatever it takes to conquer this disease," said Jerry Dawson, President of the Catfish Chapter. "I think these awards are a testament to the selfless dedication of our team. We will use these awards to generate more excitement around our important work and we will not stop until we have a cure and every person with ALS has the care that they need.”

About ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a progressive, neuromuscular disease with no known cause or cure. It’s believed that as many as 30,000 Americans currently have ALS. One in 800 men and one in 1,200 women will get ALS in their lifetime, and 90 percent of them will have no family history of the disease. Nearly 5,600 people each year in the United States are diagnosed with ALS, which is five times higher than Huntington’s disease and about equal to Multiple Sclerosis.

About The ALS Association
The ALS Association (www.alsa.org) is the only national not-for-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to cure and treat ALS through global, cutting-edge research, and to empower people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. The ALS Association supports research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy to provide help and hope to those facing ALS. In the area of research, The ALS Association’s initiative, Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS (TREAT ALS) provides a planning framework for drug discovery and clinical trials. This initiative will accelerate the rate of translational research to enter prioritized, promising treatment candidates into clinical testing in ALS patients. In partnership with academia and biotech, studies such as these will enable rapid testing of novel compounds that may be of benefit in ALS. Jim “Catfish” Hunter, the former World Series Champion and Hall of Famer from eastern North Carolina, lost his battle with ALS in 1999 from complications of the disease. The chapter was later named in his honor. The Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter, which serves the state of North Carolina, is one of 41 chapters of The ALS Association. The Catfish Chapter (www.CatfishChapter.org) has provided funding for the Duke Clinic nutritionist every year since 2003 but this latest commitment marks a major step forward towards a deep collaboration for the benefit of all people living with ALS in North Carolina. The chapter also offers many services including respite care grants, transportation grants, assistive technology grants, flex grants, three durable medical equipment loan closets and a series of ALS specific support groups throughout North Carolina.