Raises more than $6 Million to Advance Promising Treatments for ALS
San Diego, March 27, 2018 – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease affecting far too many people and families. It steals people’s muscles, and robs them of every benefit exercise provides. That’s why for more than a decade, the fitness industry has refused to accept that fate, rallying hundreds of companies, countless professionals, staff, studio and club members and local communities to take on this disease and unifying cause.
Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS is the challenge the fitness industry dared to accept, raising a record-breaking $6 million in the last year alone and more than $66 million total since its inception, as announced and celebrated during the recent International Health, Racquet and Sports Association’s (IHRSA) International Trade show and Convention and its BASH for Augie in San Diego. Of that total, Orangetheory Fitness raised a record $4.01 million during the second year for its #IBurn4ALS campaign, lasting just three weeks via 800 of its popular locations. The Orangetheory Fitness program supporting Augie’s Quest was both the largest in-club fundraiser to date and largest single-year campaign ever for the organization.
Today, the fitness industry’s collective journey to change the course of ALS is also gaining momentum, with ground-breaking therapies on the horizon because of its unwavering support. Specifically, helping make it possible for Augie’s Quest and the ALS Therapy Development Institute to develop a promising new drug that could forever change the course of ALS. It’s called AT-1501 and is slated for human clinical trials later this year but needs additional investments to bring it fully to market.
“Our partners and donors from across the fitness industry are one in a million. Their competitive spirit, generous financial support and fierce commitment as a collective industry to actively champion the health of so many people affected by ALS is driving real change and research results,” said Augie Nieto, Chief Inspiration Officer, Augie’s Quest and Chairman, ALS Therapy Development Institute. “ALS is not incurable; it is only underfunded. ALS doesn’t have a fighting chance with the fitness industry in the ring.”
This year, Augie’s Quest additional top cause sponsors included IHRSA, ClubCorp, Newtown Athletic Club, The Atlantic Club, Jenny Craig, Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, Strong by Zumba and HydroMassage. The Atlantic Club’s Kevin McHugh was also awarded the 2018 Augie’s Quest Leadership Award for his personal efforts around the ALS cause. Each dedicated time, talent and significant resources in meaningful and creative ways to support the fight to end ALS.
About Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS
Augie and Lynne Nieto have been taking on ALS the only way they know how – with honest humor, fierce friendship and one-of-a-kind business savvy. Augie was the “Steve Jobs” of the fitness industry, a business icon finding career success building the Life Fitness and Life Cycle brands, ushering in popular work outs and new forms of cardio, and getting the masses to hit the gym. Since their ALS diagnosis 13 years ago, the couple has been on a unique quest, rallying family, friends and the entire fitness industry to fund innovative science, effective treatments and an ultimate cure through Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS and its beneficiary the ALS Therapy Development Institute. To date, raising more than $66 million to fund essential research into treatments and cures. Because ALS isn’t an incurable disease; it’s only underfunded.
Today, Augie and Lynne have found the joy and laughter in life again and are featured in AUGIE, the new documentary film and love story from the award-winning director of Glen Cambell: I’ll Be Me and producer Eric Carlson of CK&D. Now available to purchase or rent via iTunes and Amazon, their story encourages people facing ALS to never give up, and to dive deep into the riches that life can bring. “You’ve got to laugh every day,” says Augie, as he continues to fight for a cure. Learn more at AugiesQuest.org.