ALS Association honors Niekro, Panfel for philanthropy

August 19, 2017 - als

Former Atlanta Braves star pitcher Phil Niekro got concerned with a ALS Association’s Georgia section decades ago, starting out by signing autographed equipment as a fundraiser.

The organisation raises income for investigate and diagnosis of patients with amyotrophic parallel sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating illness that causes a genocide of neurons that control intentional muscles and has no cure. Since afterwards a Baseball Hall of Famer and Flowery Branch proprietor has given behind to both that nonprofit and several others.

“Any possibility we get to do anything for an classification like this, we burst right in,” Niekro said.

He and medical executive Mark Panfel were a 2017 honorees during a chapter’s second Heroes Among Us Awards Luncheon Aug. 18 during Cherokee Town Club in Buckhead.

Niekro was respected for his longtime support of a association. This is by no means a initial respect for a male who on a margin won 318 games during his 25-year major-league career. In 1979, he perceived a Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, that is given annually to a Major League Baseball actor who best exhibits a impression and firmness of Lou Gehrig, both on and off a field. ALS is also famous as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named for a associate Baseball Hall of Famer who died of it.

In 1980, Niekro warranted a Roberto Clemente Award, that is handed annually to a who “best exemplifies a diversion of baseball, sportsmanship, village impasse and a individual’s grant to his team,” as voted on by ball fans and members of a media.

“So Phil was selected by his tie to Major League Baseball and Lou Gehrig,” Bill Nordmark, chapter’s house chair, said. “He has given behind so most to a community. The Lou Gehrig Award is a flattering large deal, both in ALS and baseball. And to be means to respect him in a universe (as) a favourite among us, where Major League Baseball has respected him with a tip respect in village service, … it was an eventuality for us to bond a universe with Major League Baseball in respect of someone who has done a vital impact.”

Panfel, a Buckhead resident, won a endowment for lifting over $1 million for a organisation in usually about 5 years. He got concerned with a classification in 2012, a year his mother Sally was diagnosed with a disease, and assimilated a chapter’s house in Jan 2016.

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“She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t swallow. She can’t eat. It’s a terrible disease,” Panfel said. “We respect her and that’s my inspiration, her, as good as many other patients opposite a state. If we accommodate those ALS patients, we will be desirous as good and join us. That’s what we rest on, since we’re such a tiny charity. We need people to bond with a patients and their families. That’s how we get a contributions.”

Said Nordmark, “Mark has been an amazing, extraordinary assistance to a organization. He has given behind not usually monetarily lifting over $1 million, though he is a initial one to each event. He has helped mixed ALS organizations. He was a vital believer of a (Muscular Dystrophy Association Night of Hope) Gala, that is another classification that helps ALS. He has started a Sally Panfel In-Home Care Respite Care program, that helps patients, and has given of his time, treasure, talent for a ALS community. So we’re happy to respect him.”

According to a association’s website, there are 20,000 Americans vital with a disease, and each 90 mins someone in a U.S. is diagnosed with a illness and someone else dies from it. So that creates fundraising even some-more important, Panfel said.

“We try to lift income for programs and services of a organisation to advantage patients as good as families,” he said. “There are about 600 patients opposite Georgia that have ALS, though if we supplement their family members, there are thousands of people that we support. So to be means to get an endowment from a organisation unequivocally feels good.”

Niekro has never had a family member diagnosed with ALS, though he pronounced some of his neighbors had it. During a luncheon’s fireside discuss Niekro had with longtime crony Bob Hope, boss and co-founder of Hope-Beckham, a DeKalb County-based open family organisation assisting classify and foster a event, Niekro talked about his life and his connection with a association.

He pronounced while his hermit Joe was alive (he died of a mind aneurysm in 2006), they would always start and finish any of their conversations with “I adore you.”

“He gave me a good present when we won my 300th game. He gave me a bullion belt bend that was a distance of a baseball,” Niekro said. “On tip it had ‘Braves’ and on a bottom it had ‘Yankees’ (Joe’s team). In a center it had ‘300’ in diamonds, that was a unequivocally good gift. But it wasn’t a best present he gave me.

“The best present he gave me was those 3 words, a difference ‘I adore you.’ There are 84,000 seconds in a day and it takes about a second to tell someone we adore them. … we don’t contend it enough. … Men don’t contend that a lot. we don’t know why. But we never know, so it’s critical to contend it. There’s no guarantees in life.”

The organisation will horde a annual Atlanta Walk to Defeat ALS Oct. 7 during a Georgia World Congress Center’s International Plaza downtown.


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