ALS Association announces local patient as 2009 Honorary Chair
The ALS Association, Upstate New York Chapter announces that Paul Swinburne will serve as the official Honorary Chairman for the Lowell Smith Walk to Defeat ALS. The Walk will be held at Long Branch Park in Liverpool, NY on Saturday, August 29th. Walk registration begins at 9 a.m. and the 1K and 5K walk starts at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public and all funds raised will be donated to The ALS Association, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding the cause and cure of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The Walk to Defeat ALS is The ALS Association's premier fundraising event that benefits the organization's research, advocacy and patient service initiatives.
Paul was diagnosed with ALS in September 2008, just over a month after his retirement from James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant which is owned and operated by Entergy. A mechanical engineer by trade, Paul holds degrees from Clarkson University and Cornell University.
After living and working in Scriba for nearly 30 years, Paul and his wife Gail recently moved to the Radisson area.
"The involvement of a local patient, such as Paul, is key to raising awareness of our mission in the community and encouraging participation in our most important fundraising event. We are fortunate to have Paul Swinburne as a champion fighting for our mission," said Katharine Loomis, executive director of the The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter. "I encourage everyone to participate in the Walk on August 29th to support ALS programs and to celebrate life with local patients and families."
An avid cyclist, Paul is a member and past president of the Onondaga Cycling Club. Though some of his strength has diminished due to the progression of ALS, Paul continues to ride his modified bicycle. "Any day that I can still ride my bike is a good day," Paul states. Paul's positive attitude, determination to "keep moving" and support of ALS Advocacy and Awareness are an inspiration to many in The ALS Association family. Paul and Gail have set a fundraising goal for their team of $20,000 for the 2009 Walk to Defeat ALS. Anyone that would like to support their efforts or walk with Paul's team, is encouraged to visit www.walktodefeatals.org and look for "Wrenwood Circles" to join Paul and Gail on Aug. 29.