Teams pull together to raise money to support a future without ALS


TORONTO – It takes more than just pure strength to pull a 42,000-lb transport truck by hand for 100 metres. It takes teamwork and a passionate commitment to pull together for change – for a future without amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). That’s what teams of 10 will be competing to do on Saturday, October 1 at CityView Toronto, 20 Polson Street as part of the ALS Canada Pull to End ALS.

ALS is a devastating disease that moves with startling swiftness. It progressively paralyzes people and over time, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breath. Any person has a 1 in 300 chance of receiving an ALS diagnosis in their lifetime. There is no cure for ALS and few treatment options exist for most people living with the disease.

The ALS Canada Pull to End ALS is an empowering fundraising event where up to 15 teams who have signed up to raise a minimum of $4,000 per team are pitted against one another in support of the ALS Society of Canada and the ALS cause. Showcasing grit and determination, the teams will race against the clock to pull the transport truck 100 metres. The team with the fastest clocked time will be declared the winner of this fast-paced demonstration of herculean strength.

“Pulling a transport truck may sound difficult, but it’s nothing compared to the weight that 3,000 Canadians and their families carry with them every day living with ALS,” says Tammy Moore, CEO of ALS Canada. “ALS Canada supports people living with ALS and their families today and in the future by funding critical research, advocating for treatments, and empowering the ALS community with the information they need to make informed decisions. The ALS Canada Pull to End ALS provides a unique way of building awareness and raising funds to help support our mission work and make a difference for people living with ALS.”

Rookies in the 2019 ALS Canada Plane Pull to End ALS, Team GUTSS won that competition and was one of the highest fundraising teams. Team GUTSS – friends for over 35-years – will re-assemble for the ALS Canada Pull to End ALS in memory of their high school friend and former football teammate, Mark Ianniello. Mark was diagnosed with ALS in February 2018 and passed away shortly after the event in November 2019.

“When the email went out to previous Team GUTSS participants for this year’s event, all hands went up,” says Blair Breen, captain of Team GUTSS. “Even though Mark is no longer with us, we want to continue to honour our close friendship with him and to show support for the ALS community. We witnessed how devastating this disease is and how it affected Mark and his family, so we continue to ‘pull together’ to raise money for the cause.”

Mark’s wife, Nancy Ianniello, is the honorary captain of Team GUTSS and will be at the ALS Canada Pull to End ALS cheering on the team. “What Mark and our family went through is still very surreal,” says Nancy. “I am so grateful for Mark’s friends and all those who are pulling to raise money to support the ALS community and ALS Canada. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to go through what Mark experienced.”

The fundraising goal for the Pull to End ALS is $100,000 and net proceeds will be invested in community-based support services for people and families living with ALS in Ontario, provincial and federal advocacy initiatives, and the most promising ALS research in Canada.

Located in Toronto’s east end, CityView is a unique outdoor event venue with the downtown Toronto skyline providing a dramatic backdrop. Teams will begin to gather at 9:00 a.m. for registration, a pre-pull warm-up, and a silent auction. The opening ceremonies will take place at 10:00 a.m., hosted by Canadian actor and comic Justin Landry. Team competitions will begin at 10:15 a.m. and conclude with a closing awards ceremony and group photos. The ALS Canada Pull to End ALS will take place rain or shine.

WHEN: Saturday October 1, 2022

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.                        Team registration

10:00 a.m.                                   Opening remarks

10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.            Team pulls begin

12:45 p.m.                                   Closing ceremonies

WHERE:  CityView Toronto – 20 Polson Street

 

The following people are available for interviews:

Tammy Moore   

CEO, ALS Canada

Blair Breen         

Captain, Team GUTSS

Nancy Ianniello   

Wife of Mark Ianniello (passed away from ALS in November 2019)

The event is not open to the public, but donations can be made at www.als.ca/pulltoendals.

 

For media accreditation and more information, please contact:

Norma Meneguzzi Spall / The Results Group Public Relations

norma@theresultsgrouppr.com / O: 416-686-9110 | M: 416-209-1216

 

 

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