Calendar raffle to benefit ALS Assocation

Posted June 26, 2012, at 4:17 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Forty-two local businesses have donated prizes for an ALS Calendar Raffle, with all proceeds donated to the Northern New England Chapter of the ALS Association at the Walk to Beat ALS to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, starting at Hayford Park.

The calendar raffle features a different prize to be drawn each day starting Sunday, July 1, through Aug. 11.

“We started out hoping we could fill all the days in the July calendar, but the response was so overwhelming we were able to extend the calendar nearly two weeks into August,” said raffle coordinator Michelle Libby. “Local businesses from Bangor, Brewer and Ellsworth have been very generous, and this year we’ve extended our reach into the Portland and Boston areas. All the prizes are all worth more than the price of a ticket.”

Another novel feature of the ALS Calendar Raffle is that if your name is drawn as a prize winner, it is put back into the pool of tickets for a chance to win again, and again.

For a $20 donation, participants will receive a calendar as their “raffle ticket” for an opportunity to win a different prize each day.

Prizes include Red Sox and Sea Dogs tickets, lobster, 18 dining certificates, seven supermarket or home store gifts or gift cards, three prepaid gift cards from local banks and credit unions, a hairstyling certificate, six certificates for overnight accommodations, a lobster boat ride, stained glass art, a gas card, a custom-framed Maine print, a photo sitting and more.

Many teams participate in the Walk to Beat ALS, each dedicating their efforts in memory of a family member or loved one who suffers with or has died as a result of ALS. The team from the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine walks in memory of Juanita Bayer of Orono, a special education teacher who died of ALS in 2001, and Ron Papa of Dedham, who died of ALS in September 2009. Papa was a well-known local carpenter and contractor employed at the University of Maine Carpentry Shop at the time of his death.

According to Papa’s wife, Donna Papa, “We have a great team of volunteer fundraisers and walkers,” said Papa. “And the merchants who have donated to the Calendar Raffle are incredible. It is amazing that when you start talking about ALS you discover so many people whose lives have been touched by this horrible disease. I think this is why people have been so generous — once you’ve faced ALS, you will be willing to do anything you can to help defeat it.”

Calendar Raffle tickets can be purchased throughout June at Infinity 24 Hair and Spa (known as Designs by Donna) in the Hannaford Plaza in Brewer, Winterberry Heights on Ohio Street in Bangor and the Lobster Institute in Rogers Hall at the University of Maine. Those who wish may arrange for tickets to be mailed by calling co-coordinator Cathy Billings at 949-2028 or email cathy.billings@umit.maine.edu.

According to the ALS Association’s website, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease,’ is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.”

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