Californians Can Donate to ALS Association Funded Research When Filling Out Their Personal Income Tax Return Forms

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With a stroke of the pen, many California taxpayers last year gave hope to people living with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and to their families by making donations to The ALS Association's global research program when they filled out their personal income tax return forms.

The ALS Association
The ALS Association, people with ALS and their families are extremely grateful to the taxpayers of California for their generosity.

With a stroke of the pen, many California taxpayers last year gave hope to people living with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and to their families by making donations to The ALS Association's global research program when they filled out their personal income tax return forms.

The Association will again participate in the state of California sponsored tax check-off program this year, and the need for the support of Californians to help The Association discover new treatments and a cure for ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, has never been greater as the nation's struggling economy continues to hamper fund-raising efforts.

The state of California added the ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease Research Fund to the personal income tax return forms last year. More than 19,000 Californians donated close to $218,000 by checking the fund on the form and designating a minimum donation of $1.

With the full effects of the recession beginning to be felt, the elimination of millions of jobs and prospects for an uncertain future, Californians, nevertheless, responded to The Association's call for support last year by generously giving to The Association during a time when fewer dollars were being donated.

“The ALS Association, people with ALS and their families are extremely grateful to the taxpayers of California for their generosity,” said Jane H. Gilbert, president and CEO of The Association. “Their donations will help us maintain and expand our international research efforts that are focused on uncovering the mysteries of Lou Gehrig's Disease, while we work on discovering new treatments and a cure.”

“The Pen is Mightier” campaign informs taxpayers this year that by making a donation they can help scientists funded by The Association discover new treatments and a cure for ALS, a progressive, neurodegenerative disease. Nearly 30,000 Americans annually live with ALS, and on average, they survive two to five years from the time of diagnosis.

The Association and each organization listed on the personal income tax form are required by the state to raise $250,000 beginning in the second year of participation.

The Association's five chapters in California: Greater Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles, Greater Sacramento, Greater San Diego and Orange County spearheaded efforts to add the fund to the state income tax form. These efforts culminated in the approval of Senate Bill 1502 in September 2008. Authored by state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, the bill authorized the creation of the fund.

Over the last decade, The Association has funded more than $55 million of research and is involved in 80 diverse projects including genetic, biomarker and stem cell studies.

The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

For more information about The Association, visit the organization's Web site at http://www.alsa.org
or call (800) 782-4747.

Contact:
The ALS Association
Gary Wosk, Manager, Media Relations
(818) 587-2241

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