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Muhlenberg College

Friday, October 23, 2009

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football player lifting weights mules raise money for good causes

Muhlenberg teams recently helped raise funds for ALS and cancer research and support of victims of domestic violence.

ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a cause that is close to the heart of many Mules. Tom Grace, Muhlenberg’s equipment manager since 2004, was diagnosed with ALS in April 2008. Members of the Muhlenberg community saw firsthand the effects of the degenerative disease as Grace continued to work with the help of a motorized cart until he was forced to baseball team with Tom Grace retire at the end of the 2008-09 school year.

Tom’s wife Becky, the assistant director of residential services at Muhlenberg, participated in a walk, designed to raise money to find a cure for ALS and to increase awareness of the disease, on October 10 and had the backing of several Muhlenberg teams.

The Muhlenberg football team conducted a “Lift-a-Thon” in September and raised $4,000. The Mules donated $2,000 to the American Cancer Society and the other $2,000 to ALS in Tom Grace’s name to the ALS Association. The coaches and two senior players presented the ALS donation to Tom and Becky during a trip to their home.

On the day of the walk, the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse, baseball and men’s tennis teams surprised Tom by showing up to walk with his team, “Tommy’s baseball fundraising award Troops.” The team raised more than $8,000 for the ALS Association.

“The support we got from so many people has touched our hearts,” wrote Becky. “My hope is that because of your help, a cure will be found for this disease soon. We continue to count each day as a gift and enjoy every moment we have together. Thanks to all of you for your love and support and most of all ... for caring.”

The baseball team, pictured above with Tom Grace, also continued what has become an annual tradition by running in Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley’s Step Out Against Domestic Violence 5K for the third straight year. Turning Point of Lehigh Valley is a safe place where victims of abuse and their children can find refuge. The organization provide services in Lehigh and Northampton Counties to more than 5,000 victims of domestic violence each year. Its mission is to work toward the elimination of domestic violence, increase community awareness of the problem and empower victims of domestic violence by providing shelter and support services.

Mule players and alums ran in the event, helping to raise $7,620 — more than double any other fundraising team. Click here for a picture of the race start.

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