[Below is the 2018 letter sent to participating Ales for ALS breweries, written by Cheryl Hanses Smith, mother to brewery owners Meghann Quinn and Kevin Smith]
Dear family and friends,
Who needs superheroes when you have a big brother? I don’t remember a time when Scott (aka the Bubba of our Ales for ALS Bubba's Brew IPA) wasn’t looking out for me. As young children, the backyards of our neighborhood were our playground. We shared high school friends, basketball games, pep rallies, and dances. We headed off to the University of Washington together, and only a couple of years after I returned to Yakima, a job in the fruit industry brought Scott back as well. We stood up for one another when each of us got married, and as the years passed, the lines between family and friendship continued to blur.
Seven years ago, Scott was diagnosed with ALS. This man, who had been a source of strength and security for me as long as I could remember, was facing a formidable enemy. Out of a desperation to keep him in our lives, ‘Ales for ALS’ (www.alesforals.com) was conceived. Our international fundraiser is in its 6th year. 170 breweries in 33 states, along with one each in Germany and Japan, help us raise money that funds research at ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI). This research is truly innovative, resulting in the identification of AT-1501, a promising treatment for ALS. ALS TDI has also pioneered the Precision Medicine Program, the world’s premier program and partnership with ALS patients to discover additional potential treatments.
Bale Breaker Brewing Company will be releasing their two 2018 Ales for ALS beers on Saturday, July 14. The annual fundraiser runs from noon until 9:00 PM, with food vendors and live music. The event is open to all ages. There is no charge for admission, but donations will be graciously accepted. In addition, Bale Breaker donates $1 per pint of any beer sold on this day to ALS TDI. Throughout the summer and into the fall, $1 per pint of both Bubba’s Brew and Double Bubba will go toward the vital research. We hope that you can join us, to drink good beer and support a worthy cause. If you’re unable to come to the festival, we ask that you might consider making a donation, either by using the enclosed envelope or going online at www.als.net.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. Scott shows us how to live each day with strength that comes not from muscle, but from a spirit of optimism, humor, and grace. He is inspirational, and that is what makes him my hero. But superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, young and old. The community of family and friends, who have supported our efforts over the years, contains many heroes and heroines who are fighting their own battles against overwhelming odds. We are deeply grateful that you have supported us, and we hold each and every one of you close to our hearts.
--Mike and Cheryl Hanses Smith
ALS is not an incurable disease. It is an underfunded one.
Posted July 06, 2018