Hopewell Valley Softball Team Raises ALS Awareness!
The Hopewell Valley Central High School’s Girls’ softball team, under the tutelage of HVCHS coach and Bioethics teacher, Eric Guise, and coach Gary Nucera, organized and hosted a fundraiser for two ALS non -profits: Hope Loves Company and Hark- on Thursday, April 3rd at Hopewell Valley Central High School’s Performing Arts Center. More than one hundred people, mostly students, came out to view the premier of Donna Dourney York’s inspirational documentary, Hope on the Horizon- which is a film “about ALS, and also about facing life’s challenges with courage and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds every day,” said film producer, Donna Dourney York.
Well, looks like everyone can feel good because of their efforts. Hope on the Horizon was well received and the students had plenty of excellent questions afterwards. A panel of six people, including film climber, Josh Valentine, former HVCHS student Nora Ames (who lost her mother to ALS in 2000) and caregiver Michael Toland, whose father lives with ALS, were available to answer questions after the documentary and did so with openness and honesty. The amount of funds raised for both charities will be shared later this month.
O’Donnell-Ames and Dourney York thanked Mr. Guise, Mr. Nucera, Principal Michael Daher and their students for helping spread ALS awareness. “ALS is still considered a rare disease, explained O’Donnell-Ames,” “yet, I know five local families who are affected as we speak. We hope more people will come to their need after tonight.”
Hope Loves Company provides support locally and nationally to children who have family members battling ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Hark provides financial and medical resources to ALS patients. Hark is showing the film nationwide to raise awareness and funds for ALS.
Mr. Guise, who coached Mrs. O’Donnell-Ames’ son Adam in wrestling, wanted to get involved in the cause and became proactive a few years ago by inviting Mrs. O’Donnell-Ames into the high school to share her experience with ALS during his bioethics class.
He asked his students to help spread awareness after they got to meet Jodi and learn from her presentation. “It’s important to teach students that there is more to life than what they experience as teens,” said Guise. “Whether I am coaching or teaching, I encourage my students to find ways to help others and to feel good because of their efforts.”