Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Thank you, Dr. Marvin!

Jennifer and I just had the great opportunity to share our ALS journey on Dr. Norman Marvin’s weekly conference call this evening.  Dr. Marvin’s is a medical doctor with a doctorate in pharmacology as well. His biography can be found at www.DocMarvin.com.

I have had some incredible results with the discovery of a pathway called Nrf2.  We discuss our journey and experience with a Nrf2 activator on Dr. Marvin’s call.  Archived calls can be accessed by calling 1-559-546-1799 Access Code 200765#.  Then choose Reference Number 4 and then #.  I apologize, but Doc Marvin’s call is no longer available.

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Team Bishop 2130 Ride for ALS

As part of our four part mission, we will be leading a 21.30 mile bike ride to commemorate Lou Gehrig’s 2130 consecutive baseball games played before he succumbed to ALS in the glory days of his career.  He was only 35 when he was diagnosed and died two years later.  The ALS Therapy Development Institute is the beneficiary of the funds raised for this bike ride.  This event will raise awareness, funds and hope for those affected by ALS.  Please click on our Team Bishop sponsor site now to ride, volunteer or donate.

Knowing that organizations such as ALSTDI are working on a treatment and/or cure for ALS provides hope to those affected by ALS.  I remember when I was first diagnosed and reading everything I could about the disease, I took comfort knowing someone was working on it.  I was not alone.  People cared.

Knowing that I have such a slow progression, I feel even stronger that a treatment or cure could be found in my lifetime.  I also know that even those with a normal progression of ALS want to raise money so no one else has to go through this horrible disease.

Will you provide hope by becoming involved with our 2130 Ride for ALS?

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Angels for ALS Gala 2008

We have many challenging and exciting decisions to make this fall.  As a nation, we will elect a new president, and whomever we choose will be a first in our nation’s history.  As a community committed to the Extra Hands mission, we have begun to pursue strategic partnerships which will enable us to reach more PALS and their families as well as to serve others who are homebound and need support.  Currently, we simply do not have the resources to offer the program beyond the ALS community by ourselves, much less keep pace with the ballooning demand for it within the ALS community across the country.

As you may know, the Angels for ALS Gala will not take place this fall as our efforts are focused on exploring all the possibilities and making the best decision for the next stage of our growth.  Many of you were planning on contributing to the gala and we hope that you will still consider investing in Extra Hands so our potential partners fully witness the passion and commitment of our patrons.  Please click here to contribute securely online.

Once we come to terms with the right partner, we will resume the planning for the gala which allows us to honor the pioneers like you who always ‘believed’ as well as to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter for Extra Hands.

Thank you for your continued support of Extra Hands for ALS!

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One month has blazed by since the Angels for ALS Gala 2007.  Time seems surreal to me, knowing I am outliving ALS expectations.  It also confirms that time appears to accelerate the older we get!

The evening was a very elegant and classic event.  It was an enchanting site to see everyone dressed to the nines at a beautiful venue with a common purpose in mind.  The silent auction area was bedazzled with lights, music, conversation and excitement.

Inside the dining room, 250 seats beckoned for company as the tables dazzled in their simplicity.  Black linens topped with red accents and white china glowed in the soft light of votive candles, highlighting the red cyclamen in the center.

Introductions and welcoming ensued before the theme of the evening was revealed.  Addie, one of our overachieving student volunteers, was impacted by the statistic that every 90 minutes an ALS patient is diagnosed and another one dies.  She produced a video simply asking what everyday people might do in 90 minutes.  As a 90 minute hourglass was overturned, Addie challenged the audience, asking what they could do in the next 90 minutes to make a difference in the ALS community.

After a scrumptious dinner topped off by a decadent flourless chocolate tort, Addie returned to the podium.  She addressed the audience by describing her transformation from the year before.  The patient her Extra Hands team was assisting had died this past summer.  The reality of ALS overwhelmed her.  In her grief, she had grown and become even more dedicated and motivated to make a difference.  By sharing her story, everyone in the audience understood what Extra Hands for ALS is all about.

Thereafter, local musician, Jeff King, mesmerized us with the song, “Angels Among Us,” to solidify our purpose in gathering.  Between Addie and Jeff, tears of sadness and joy were commonplace, reflecting the evening’s momentous impact on all who attended.

The live auction changed the reflective mood into one of excitement and anticipation.  Over $15,000 was raised as top notch destinations, LASIK surgery, beautiful fused glass artistry, music composition and a concert were auctioned off.

One of the highlights of the evening for us was to be able to recognize the many volunteers that make Extra Hands for ALS possible.  First, the outstanding student, mentor and family were acknowledged for the profound impact they are having on other people’s lives.  Then, all the students and mentors in attendance stood after their names were called.  As the audience understood just how many volunteers there were, a standing ovation erupted.  We are so incredibly proud of the people that choose to volunteer their time to make a difference in the ALS community.

The evening was topped off by dancing, mingling and picture taking.

Thank you so much to the gala committee that made the evening possible.  We met for weeks on end before the gala to plan, prepare and execute.  It’s difficult to imagine doing this event without the help of such selfless and caring people.

The generous support of many in kind donations that reduced our overall costs is extremely appreciated.  Especially, Signal Graphics, located at 1777 Larimer Street and Gourmet Fine Catering at 2601 Blake Street, Suite 105.  There were many others, but these two went above and beyond anything we could have hoped for.  Please patronize these businesses to help a show our gratitude.

Also, thank you to all the attendees and donors; from the table sponsors to the individuals and last but not least, our incredible volunteers.  Your generosity raised over $81,000 in support of Extra Hands for ALS and ALS TDI, our research partner.

It is never too late to contribute, so please follow this Angels for ALS Gala link to securely donate by credit card if you have not already done so.  Please make any checks payable to:

Extra Hands for ALS

c/o Steven & Jennifer Bishop

8237 Swadley Court

Arvada, CO 80005

We ordered too many Angels for ALS Gala 2007 champagne glasses and are selling them for $10 each.  We have approximately 80 left and they are not raising any money in our basement!  Lindsey, our outstanding student award recipient, designed and makes ALS Bracelets with the Extra Hands for ALS motto, BELIEVE in them. They come in S, M and L selling for $20 each.   Please specify quantities  with your check and provide contact information so we can get either/both or multiple items to you.

One last enormous thank you goes out to everyone who participated in the 2007 Angels for ALS Gala.

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No Suit? No Problem!

Mister Neat’s partners with Angels for ALS Gala again!

Just in time, we have partnered with Mister Neat’s Formalwear to outfit the black tie optional Angels for ALS Gala.  They have generously offered a $40 discount on all Designer Tuxedo’s starting at $99.95 and up for this event.  Simply mention our event name to receive the discount.  Visit their website at www.misterneats.com or call 1-888-NICE-TUX (1-888-642-3889) for a location near you.  Simply download the Mister Neat’s Flyer here, print it out and bring it with you.


If you are coming in from out of town, Mister Neat’s is affiliated with Savvi Formalwear & Friar Tux.  You can go to any of their locations to be measured.  Then simply call 303-980-5999, the Mister Neat’s store closest to the Belmar Center and provide your information.

How often do you allow yourself to get completely dressed up and have the chance to document the occasion?  Bring your cameras, but we will be taking pictures, too!


Mister Neat’s respectfully asks that you try to come in four days prior to the event for the best choices and time for fitting.  That would be October 9th for us, so don’t delay.


If you haven’t registered for the Gala yet, click here to RSVP or donate.  Thank you.

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Is your RSVP in?

Hi everyone,

We have been planning for months and the Angels for ALS Gala benefiting Extra Hands for ALS is less than two weeks away.  We will be ready for an incredible event!  The RSVP date was Friday, September 28th and due to our new electronic format, the online registration form closed the guest list completely.  Oops!!!  I didn’t know that was going to happen.

If you were planning on attending and attempted to register online, please try again as I have changed the RSVP date to October 7th.  That is the drop dead date for the caterer to know how many meals to prepare?  You still have the opportunity, convenience and security of online registration.

I apologize for the confusion this may have caused and please forward this email to anyone you know that was considering the Angels for ALS Gala!

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Noodles & Company Update

In regard to the previous posting about Noodles & Company, we are honored to announce that $418.51 was raised on August 21st to benefit Extra Hands for ALS.  Thank you to the many satisfied diners and the generosity of the folks at Noodles & Company who donated 20% of their gross sales that evening.  This is the restaurant located at 12023 East Arapahoe Road at Peoria in Centennial, Colorado.

Every once in a while we find a gem of a company in our locale that is community oriented.  Please help us in showing our gratitude by patronizing this location.  The food is great and you will feel good supporting a local business that cares.

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Noodles & Company

For all you local readers out there, the great folks at Noodles & Company have been so kind as to offer 20% of their sales for the night of Tuesday, August 21st, 5-9pm to benefit Extra Hands for ALS.  This is for their restaurant located at 12023 East Arapahoe Road at Peoria in Centennial, Colorado.

Please join us for a great meal from a generous and community oriented company!

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Save The Date!

The second annual Angels for ALS Gala is scheduled for October 13th, 2007 at 6:30 pm.  Last year, over 250 people attended with almost $90,000 raised benefiting Extra Hands for ALS and our research partner, the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS/TDI).  This year we are reaching for 400 people to enjoy this beautiful night out.  We will be honoring the student, mentor and family volunteers that make Extra Hands possible.

We are fortunate to be at the same venue at the Belmar Center in Lakewood, Colorado.  Our sit down dinner will be presented by our friends at Gourmet Fine Catering.  The evening will include silent and live auctions, dinner, entertainment and dancing all in a black tie optional theme.

Table sponsorships from $1,500 to our $10,000 are available with multiple marketing and recognition opportunities as well as individual tickets for $125.  Click here for more details and online registration.  If you did not receive a formal invitation last year, please respond to this posting with your contact information as soon as possible so we can include you in the mailings.  We would appreciate you forwarding this posting to anyone that you think might be interested in participating in this incredible event as it is our main fundraiser for the calendar year.

If you are unable attend there are still many ways to participate.  We are always looking for silent auction items and volunteers for the evening to help with all the details an event like this requires.  Also, if there are companies that could help offset the hard costs, i.e. venue and caterer, we would be honored to have you listed as event sponsors for marketing purposes.  Please contact Steven or Jennifer Bishop at 303-423-3779 or email denver@extrahands.org for more information.

Of course, we always appreciate a donation of any kind which can be done online by clicking here or sending a check made out to Extra Hands for ALS at 8237 Swadley Court, Arvada, CO 80005.  Lastly, thank you all for your continued support of ALS awareness, programs and research.  It is your involvement in these issues that provides purpose and hope in our lives.  We are humbly touched by your dedication and interest.

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The dust is finally settling on the Angels for ALS Gala.  What an incredible ride it has been.  The Belmar Center lease was signed on June 16, 2006, thus committing us to full-time planning for this event.  Four months later on October 14, 2006 we experienced one of the most rewarding, emotional and successful events of our lives.

Jennifer and our incredible army of committee members and volunteers spent the afternoon decorating and organizing for the gala that evening.  At home, I was still working on seating arrangements and fielding calls.  I did manage to sneak in a nap to save some energy for the evening.

We arrived at about 5:30 p.m. in order to address any last-minute details.  This was my first opportunity to view the venue in its entire splendor.  From previous experience, I brought my walker which has a seat on it.  It would be a very long night if I had to stand for the whole evening.

As we entered the elevator that took us up to the vestibule, a rush of excitement and nervousness overwhelmed me.  The doors opened and our trusty volunteers were busy at work setting up the registration tables.  Behind them the dining room remained closed.  Jennifer and I made our way out to the terrace where the silent auction was set up.

It was just beautiful.  Lights twinkled above our heads as we gazed over the tables draped in black and tastefully covered with 105 graciously donated items up for bid.  The tables also had black and red painted “Angel” and “Believe” signs carved out of wood, emphasizing our theme for the evening.  Each auction item was meticulously described and/or displayed. What an amazing first impression!

Guests began filtering in while I was able to absorb the joyful look on their faces as they experienced their first impression.  Everyone looked incredible decked out in their suits, tuxedos, cocktail dresses and gowns.  It was such a privilege to greet people as they came in and thank them for attending.  Soon the area was buzzing with guests scribbling in their bids and having wonderful discussions.  Delicious appetizers were hand served to the mingling crowd.

Jennifer and I strategically separated so we could visit with as many people as possible.  I sat in my walker right in the middle of the auction area so I could catch people as they walked by.  Jennifer fluttered around like a butterfly, gracefully greeting everyone she could.  Time flew by and according to the schedule we needed to shut the auction down and move into the dining room.  It seemed as though things were just getting started so we extended the time another 15 minutes.  All too soon, we had to get the dinner program started, therefore ending the silent auction.

Enormous blinds were lifted exposing the elegantly decorated Main Ballroom.  It seemed as though our guests did not want to leave the Terrace, however, dinner beckoned.  The walls were decorated with large photographs of Extra Hands for ALS families and volunteers, tastefully outlined in black with red trim.  The tables were adorned with stylish centerpieces, black linens and white place settings.

Appetizers and dinner were catered by Gourmet Fine Catering and received accolades for days after the gala.  Apparently, people expect rubberized chicken and soggy vegetables at these types of events as opposed to our succulent meal.  With the decadent caramel cheesecake and coffee being served, the evening’s program began.

Angie Austin and Chris Parente from KWGN/CW2 Morning News co-emceed the event with flare and wit offering light moments as well as emotional praise.  Angie has been a dear friend to us for five years and brilliantly suggested Chris for her counterpart.  Together they were a terrific team and we are truly grateful for their time and generosity.

Next, our CEO for Extra Hands, Jim Presbrey was introduced and provided the general greeting and introduction of our organization to the mix of 255 attendees.  Jim is from New Jersey and made a point to arrive two days early to help us with the final plans.  His eloquent and sincere presentation offered an air of integrity to the gala as well as setting the tone for the whole evening.

We then had the opportunity to address the audience.  I had to take a moment and absorb the whole atmosphere with the venue and all the incredible people glimmering in the warm candlelight.  Jennifer greeted everyone and thanked them for attending along with encouraging everyone to introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know.  We believe in the power of positive influence and all these people had something to offer someone else.  I closed with several definitions of the word “Angel” when used in the human sense and the description that stood out the most was the act of being selfless.  We were definitely among angels on this night!

In a shroud of secrecy, three of our student volunteers from Cherry Creek High School and founders of their Extra Hands for ALS club had been planning a presentation and video for the gala.  At last we were able to hear and see the fruits of their labor and love.

They had prepared a heartfelt speech in which Addie, Cynden and Aly all had roles.  The words spoke from their heart and touched us deeply.  A standing ovation followed and then their video presentation.  They had interviewed several Extra Hands families, mentors and volunteers.  The participants expressed their sincere gratitude for the program in a way that made it real for all guests attending.  We have watched it three times since the gala and are continually moved.

This turned out to be one of the key elements in the program.  It showed how much these students were emotionally involved in Extra Hands and the people they are affecting.  It was also evident how they were affected in such a positive manner by the families and mentors involved.  That is the magic of this organization.

The live auction ensued with the donated items of a Lasik eye procedure, a bronze angel sculpture, professional wall glazing, a week stay in High Country Club property and finally a private plane ride over the Rockies.  The auction was a bit confusing, but fun and quite successful.

Extra Hands has partnered, in essence, with an ALS research laboratory called the ALS Therapy Development Foundation (ALSTDF), located in Boston, Massachusetts.  Mat Mendel, Event Development Director, introduced a video from the Founder, Jaime Haywood of ALSTDF in which he described the efforts of their organization and the importance of research.  Mat arrived a day early to help and his presence added even more integrity to this event.  This was followed by an auction for research minutes in which over $12,000 was raised!

It was a long program, but with all the right features.  We were able to recognize some very inspirational people with trophies for Outstanding Students (Addie, Cynden and Ally), Mentor (Lisa Terry) and Family (Chris Hoeffner) as well as special recognition for Courage (Ellen) and participation (Suzanne Bellis) in honor of her late husband John Bellis.  She sponsored three tables of ten for the gala.  We were also able to recognize our own student volunteers, Carly and Allie, who opted to forego their Senior Homecoming in order to attend this event.  That meant more than they will ever know.

One by one the student volunteers present at the gala were invited to come forward for a plaque presentation.  Nineteen students shared the stage.  It was incredible to have them there and show the audience that these lives were a large part of why they were there supporting Extra Hands for ALS.  Mentors were then recognized in the same manner for their dedication to the organization.  Thank you, all.

With that, the formal program closed and the rest of the evening was opened for dancing to the music spun by DJ, Barry Sterling from Sterling Entertainment.  Most of the students jumped right in with many others and then the night ended all too early.

We simply cannot thank everyone sufficiently for their participation with this event.  We had an incredible team of gala committee members along with volunteers who gave up their Saturday night to work during the evening.  Over a dozen companies donated services and there were about 100 individuals and/or companies that donated items for the silent and live auctions.  The attending guests were both generous and gracious and hopefully had a joyous and memorable time.

Finally, we got to honor the people that make Extra Hands for ALS more than just a vision and turn it into a reality that is changing lives for the better and making a real difference in the fight against ALS.  Pictures will be added to our site, shortly.  Thank you all for this very special night.

P.S.  Just in case anyone was curious, we grossed over $88,500 and netted almost $70,000 with funds still trickling in!  That is a return rate of over 78.5%.  Not bad for a first year event.  Wait ‘til next year.  We can’t wait to see you there!

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