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Marching Mizzou Marching for Hope

MU raising money for ALS in fundraising competition against KU

Nov. 22, 2010

Story Contact(s):
Nathan Hurst, hurstn@missouri.edu, 573-882-6217

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— The “Big ‘M’ of the Midwest,” University of Missouri’s Marching Mizzou, is raising awareness and funds for the ALS Association by competing against the university’s biggest athletic rival, the University of Kansas, as part of a fundraising campaign called Marching for Hope.

Marching Mizzou has raised nearly $10,000 for the ALS Assocation as of Nov. 22, with an ultimate goal of $30,000. Each of the nearly 300 band members has a personal fundraising webpage with an individual goal of $200. The fundraising competition will cumulate on Nov. 27 at the Mizzou-Kansas 2010 Border Showdown football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Marching Mizzou will dedicate its half-time performance at that game to those living with ALS.

Bradley Snow, the director of Mizzou’s athletic bands, says the band members are always enthusiastic about competing against KU, but ultimately the goal is to raise money for ALS.

Marching Mizzou has raised more than $6700 for the ALS Assocation as of Nov. 15, with an ultimate goal of $30,000.

Marching Mizzou has raised more than $6700 for the ALS Assocation as of Nov. 15, with an ultimate goal of $30,000.

“People see us all over the place at football games and on TV,” Snow said. “I want everybody to know that it’s not just about what we do at half-time and all the athletic events. This is an opportunity for a visible organization to raise awareness for a worthy cause.”

Snow said when the Marching Mizzou members learned about ALS, it was a sobering experience. 

 “It’s something they can relate to,” Snow said. “The disease involves the paralysis of the muscles to where sufferers have trouble breathing. Since the band members are musicians and rely so much on their lungs, it really hit home with them. It hit home with me.”

Laurel McCoy is a junior at MU and plays clarinet with Marching Mizzou. She has raised more than $270 by requesting donations from Facebook friends and e-mailing friends and family.

“This fundraiser is important to me because my mom worked with a man who passed away from ALS and she told me about the disease and how horrible it is,” McCoy said. “Then I did some research once I found out about the competition. Both schools are competing and all donations go to research to help find a cure for ALS. Whether we win or lose, we will still have done a lot of good.”

Marching Mizzou is one of 21 college marching bands nationwide participating in Marching for Hope. The campaign benefits the ALS Association, a nonprofit organization that provides services to patients and funds research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” The association estimates that as many as 30,000 Americans live with the progressive neurodegenerative disease.

The Marching Mizzou members’ fundraising webpages and progress can be viewed online at http://web.alsa.org/uofmissouri.

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