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Tackle ALS Fundraiser This Saturday

Only one thing could possibly cause me to delay the release of my 30-year anniversary team: it was the need to promote something important. (So important, I might add, that I'm kicking myself that I didn't report on this earlier.)

This Saturday (as reported in the Morning Call and on Keith Groller's Morning Call blog) will be the annual flag football ALS fundraiser at Northwestern Lehigh. In years past it has been to help out Brett Snyder ('00) after being diagnosed with ALS (or Lou Gerhig's disease) two years ago. But this year, all proceeds are going to Brett's new foundation Tackle ALS. His foundation "''educates and encourages others to spread awareness about this disease that affects all ages, and to support research aimed at early diagnosis and detection of ALS.''

The event this Saturday, July 28th (rain date is Sunday, July 29th) is at the Northwestern Lehigh football field (off of Route 309). From Interstate 78, take Route 100 North to the intersection of Rte. 309. Go on 309 North for one mile, and Northwestern Lehigh high school will be on your right. Gates open at 5PM, with the alumni flag football games going on at 6PM and 8PM. There is fun for the whole family there, including a moon bounce, face painting, a dunk tank and other activities. It's not just for Northwestern football alumni - it's really more of a summer fair where you can bring the whole family. Show up!

Before I forget, there is another fundraiser coming up for you golfers out there as well: the first annual Tackle ALS Golf outing on Monday, August 27th. It will be at the Blue Bell Country Club and will be $150 per person ($50 if you're only attending the banquet). Interested? Fill out this form and return it to the Fireside Grille in Ambler.

Keith Groller's Morning Call article had updates about Brett, and also Kody Fedorcha ('00), who is also a member of Tackle ALS's board of directors.

''The amount of love and compassion that the people of this area have shown me has been amazing,'' he said. ''The support makes me feel as though I just graduated from Northwestern last year, not in 1996. People want to know how I'm doing and they want to know how they can help. Sometimes, I have no idea who the people are. They just care. It's awesome to feel that kind of love and support.''

For those who want to know how he's doing, Snyder said: ''I'm doing well. I'm far from where I want to be. I am still looking for a full recovery and that's what I'm striving for and I'm still looking at all of the options with new drug trials and so on. I'm fortunate that this is progressing very slowly and I am able to live a pretty normal life right now.''

Snyder was married to the former Carissa Seng last Dec. 28 and since she is a counselor at Northwestern, he's able to keep close tabs on the current Tigers. They now live in Macungie, near his pal Fedorcha.

''I'd do anything and everything to support Brett and Tackle ALS is something to rally around,'' Fedorcha said. ''When Brett was diagnosed with ALS, I was living in California. It made me realize what's really important in life is to be close to family and friends and it's one of the reasons why I moved home. Brett is like family to me. We became friends when we went through the recruiting process at Lehigh. The kind of player and teammate he was symbolizes all that's good in sports.

''The people who meet Brett for the first time will first recognize him for his accolades in football. After you meet him, you'll remember him for much more.''

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