The 20th Anniversary of the ALS Walk for Life Chicago sponsored by the Les Turner ALS Foundation will take place Saturday morning at Soldier Field. The event will take place from 9:30 AM CST until 2 PM CST. Participation in the ALS Walk for Life is totally free, but parking at Soldier Field will be $25.
The purpose for this walk is to raise money to help fight against ALS, or commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Although this disease has been around for decades, there is no cure for this debilitating disease. The proceeds are used to fund research at the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.
The actual name of ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS attacks the nerve cells within the brain and the spinal cord, which causes for a person to degenerate to the point that he or she loses all normal functioning capabilities.
The pre-walk festivities will begin at 9:30 AM, but some people will be tailgating long before that in the parking lot at Soldier Field. The only rules for the tailgate are no alcohol, no pets, and that the grills brought to the premises must be charcoal instead of propane.
The opening ceremony will start at 10:30 AM which will be emceed by ABC7 meteorologist Phil Schwarz. The opening ceremony will give the walkers information on where they will be walking along the lakefront. During the ceremony, the ALS Courage Award will be presented to Steve "Mongo" McMichael.
McMichael is a former defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. He was a starter on one of the greatest defenses in NFL history when the Bears franchise won their only Super Bowl way back in 1985. He then went on to become a professional wrestler in the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He publicly announced that he had ALS earlier this year.
The walk then begins at around 11 AM CST and ends at around 12:30 PM CST. The walk will be about two miles along Lake Michigan and will start and finish at Soldier Field.
After the walk, there will be a milestone team award recognition. Awards will be given to different teams that have participated in the ALS Walk for Life for 10 years, for 15 years, and for all twenty years. Teams help to raise funds throughout the year to the point that over $400,000 has been raised so far for ALS research.
The 2021 ALS Walk for Life is sponsored by the Chicago Bears, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, 303 Premium Protectants & Cleaners, First Bank Chicago - A Division of Highland Park, Alexion, Amylyx, and NuMotion.
Although plenty of money has been raised, the Les Turner ALS Foundation has not reached the expected goal for this year of $500,000. The organization is not far off of their goal, so your donation could be the one that puts them over the top. If you would like to donate so that a cure can finally be found for ALS, then check out the Les Turner ALS Foundation website.
This foundation works tirelessly in order to find a cure for this disease that has been ravaging people for over 70 years. The word quit is not in their vocabulary. Last year, the ALS Walk for Life was held virtually. Prizes go to various fundraising teams that participate in the walk. The prizes were not listed for this year's walk, but last year's prizes were outstanding.
The three top teams won a private tour of Soldier Field, while the top five individual fundraisers won an opportunity to kick a field goal inside of Soldier Field. Hopefully, they announce who wins prizes at the event.
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