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    Call for Volunteers: Help Install 6,000 Pinwheels Representing Annual Lives Lost to ALS

    Symbolic display on Stony Brook campus is part of “Ride for Life” Event

    STONY BROOK, NY, April 25, 2014 - Volunteers are needed to assist Stony Brook University staff on May 3, from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon, when 6,000 pinwheels will be installed in the grass field next to the South P Lot on the Stony Brook University Campus. The pinwheels represent the lives lost annually to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The pinwheel display is the symbolic backdrop at Stony Brook University’s annual “Ride for Life” Celebration and Remembrance Ceremony, which will take place on May 10 starting at 2:00 PM. 

    The annual Ride for Life, started in 1998 by Christopher Pendergast, a 21-year ALS patient, advocate, and founder of the Ride for Life Organization, raises awareness and funds for ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease. The 12-day power wheelchair trek by ALS patients across Long Island begins May 5 and ends May 17. A cornerstone of the Ride is the Celebration and Remembrance Ceremony at Stony Brook. The Ride also helps support Stony Brook Medicine’s Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence, the only ALS Association certified center on Long Island. 

    Area students, members of the community, and others interested in supporting the Ride for Life are welcome to help install the pinwheels. The idea of the pinwheels, conceived by Christopher Pendergast, is to remind everyone of the importance of research to seek better treatments for ALS and that a cure is “blowin’ in the wind.” 

    For students seeking community service recognition that may be required from organizations or schools, a form is available to recognize their efforts. All volunteers are requested to bring a screwdriver if they have one. 

    Bagels during the morning hours, and pizza and beverages during the afternoon will be available for volunteers. In case of rain, the pinwheel installing would then take place on May 4, from 9:00 AM until noon. 

    For more information about volunteering, or with any questions, please e-mail Janice Rohlf at punky11777@gmail.com