Rockin4ALS

OUR MISSION

Unite Madison ALS patients, family, friends, and supporters to raise awareness, help fund patient services, and connect our community to the ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter.

OUR GOALS

  • Organize Rockin4ALS events to raise funding for ALS patient services and promote public awareness of ALS issues.
  • Form a cohesive ALS Community that connects local ALS patients, caregivers, and families in Madison, Wisconsin and surrounding areas.
  • Connect the Madison Community of ALS Support to The ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter.
  • Promote and participate in events sponsored by the ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter.
  • Honor the memories of Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps Alumni who lost their lives to ALS – Please see the Honor Guard.
  • Maintain strong partnership with the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps (Madison, WI) in this mission to support ALS patients.

OUR VALUES

Treat ALS patients with dignity and respect.
Steward donated funds with honesty, integrity, and sound spending practices.
Spread hope & strength and continue the ALS fight until the battle is won.


The Madison Scouts
Commitment - Performance - Brotherhood

Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corp

What is ALS?

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease that is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
  • Lou Gehrig brought worldwide attention to the disease in 1939, when he abruptly retired from baseball after his ALS diagnosis.
  • The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis. However, many people can live with the disease for five years and more.
  • The disease typically strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. It's a neurodegenerative disease, causing degeneration throughout the brain and spinal cord.
  • A common first symptom is a painless weak sensation in a hand, foot, arm or leg, which occurs in more than half of all cases. Other early symptoms include difficulty with speech, swallowing or walking.
  • As the disease progresses, it robs patients of the use of their hands, arms and legs, as well as their ability to speak, swallow and, ultimately, breathe on their own. Familial ALS (genetically handed down between generations) represents between five to ten percent of all cases. However, the majority of cases strike spontaneously and mysteriously, making seemingly random attacks on previously healthy adults.

For more information on ALS, please click here to view the National site.


Our History

1999

The dream to create an annual live music ALS benefit began in 1999, shortly after Madison Scouts Alum Steve Weekes was diagnosed with ALS. Steve was in the waiting room of an ALS clinic, accompanied by siblings, Monica and John Weekes, when the idea came to him. Steve immediately began plans for the benefit, and quickly engaged the support of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and local friends and musicians. Steve was the long-time drummer for a local band called "Wall of Sound," and although Steve could no longer perform, the group was eager to bring their well known brass-inspired musical style to the first Rockin For A Cure.

Founded in 2000

Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps Alum - Steve Weekes - founded "Rockin For A Cure" in 2000 as an annual live music event to raise funding and awareness among family, friends, and alumni of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. Since these humble beginnings, the organization has grown into a mainstay of support for local ALS patients in Madison and surrounding communities. In 2017, the organization officially changed its name to Rockin4ALS for greater flexibility, future growth, and new opportunities to serve local patients.

The Early Years

During the early years of the benefit, Steve selected the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southeastern Wisconsin to sponsor and organize the event. The first benefits started off small, but provided much-needed emotional support for Steve and the family. In fact, it was the presence of many alumni of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps that lifted his spirits and supported his family. During the early years, it quickly became tradition for an ensemble of Madison Scouts brass players to perform "You'll Never Walk Alone" at these fundraisers.

Stewardship by Madison Scouts Alumni

In 2004, the founder, Steve Weekes, brought a significant change to the organization by entrusting the mission to alumni of the Madison Scouts. Steve asked Scouts Alum, Mike Anello to lead the effort, and was joined by other alumni of the Scouts, including Glenn Moralez, Steve Moralez, Frank Gonzales, Tim Spilde, and non-alumn Dave Peters. The new leadership brought the passion and class of the Madison Scouts to the event and led to development of a new logo shown at the left. The fundraiser in April, 2005 was tremendous, but heartbreaking, as Steve lost the battle with ALS earlier in January at the age of 44.

Partner & Philosphy

From the beginning, the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps has been our partner in this fight, helping advance the mission of the organization through the endorsement and promotion of fundraising events and donating silent auction items. The Scouts have a large following of passionate supporters, numbering in the tens of thousands, and provides Rockin4ALS a large platform for outreach.

Each year at Rockin For A Cure, alumni and friends of the Madison Scouts gather and pay tribute to ALS patients and families by singing, "You'll Never Walk Alone." Since the 1950s, the song has been intimately connected with the Corps and underscores the Madison Scouts philosophy of supporting "Brothers" under the most challenging of times. "ALS patients are our brothers."

Never Walk Alone with Jim Eutizzi

Patiant Advocate, Jim Eutizzi, surrounded by Madison Scouts Alumni singing "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Strategic Partnership

In 2010, Rockin4ALS partnered with The ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter. The Chapter provides patient services throughout Wisconsin and has an ALS Association Certified Clinic at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. In addition, the Chapter raises funds to provide ALS research grants at the state and national level.

Madison Community of ALS Support
Over the years, Rockin4ALS worked jointly with the Chapter on multiple initiatives and in 2017, formed a strategic alliance to build a Madison Community of ALS Support. Rockin4ALS is now engaged in a Strategic Outreach Program to connect Madison patients and caregivers to the Chapter.

The Chapter offers supportive programs and services free of charge, including personalized Care Service Coordinators to help navigate healthcare options and programs, and answer questions about insurance and disability – and to simply accompany the patient and family through the ALS journey.

The Chapter facilitates local patient and caregiver support groups, operates an equipment loan program for assistive communication and durable equipment, and provides grants for automobile & home modifications, and transportation costs to medical appointments. This is just a brief overview of support and services. For complete information, please visit alsawi.org.
All Rockin4ALS funds are solely dedicated to helping provide patients and caregivers with services offered by the Wisconsin Chapter.

Strategic Partnership with ALS WI

Exectutive Director, Melanie Roach-Bekos, with Patient Advocate, Jim Eutizzi, and Rockin4ALS representatives.

Rockin4ALS 2017

What started as an annual Live Music event in 2000 - full of passion, commitment, and fellowship - has grown over the years and become a community of support for ALS patients and their families in Madison and surrounding communities. Along the way, we added multiple events, and the organization lends its volunteer assistance to help other benefits throughout Wisconsin.

To accommodate the growth, the organization changed its name in 2017 to "Rockin4ALS." The new name reflects the umbrella structure of the organization, which now manages three signature events: (1) Rockin For A Cure Live Music Benefit, (2) Drop the Puck on ALS Hockey Benefit, and (3) Strike Out ALS Baseball Game and Tailgate Benefit. We are a warm and loving collection of patients, caregivers, family, and friends. We welcome you to join our community to serve the needs of ALS patients, locally and throughout Wisconsin.


Board of Directors

Mike Anello Director
  • Rockin4ALS Director since 2004
  • Volunteer and supporter since 2002
  • Alum of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps

  • manello@rockin4als.org
  • 414-704-0209

Liaison to The ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter and the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. Project lead for events, facilities, corporate donations, website, and promotion of Rockin4ALS.

Frank Gonzales
  • Board Member since 2005
  • Volunteer and supporter since 2004
  • Alum of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps

  • fgonzales@rockin4als.org

Project lead for silent auction program and committee member for events, and website.

Tim Spilde
  • Board Member since 2005
  • Volunteer and supporter since 2004
  • Alum of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps

  • tspilde@rockin4als.org

Co-Lead for silent auction program and committee member for events.

David Peters
  • Board Member since 2005
  • Volunteer and supporter since 2005
  • While not an alum of the Madison Scouts, Dave grew up in a house with four siblings in the St. Paul Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps.

  • dpeters@rockin4als.org
  • 414-617-6811

Treasurer and committee member for events and silent auction program.

Glenn Moralez
  • Board Member since 2005
  • Volunteer and supporter since 2005
  • Alum of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps

  • gmoralez@rockin4als.org

Secretary, committee member for events, facilities.

Renee Gonzales
  • Board Member since 2015
  • Volunteer and supporter since 2005
  • Alum of the Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps
  • Alum of the Bridgemen Senior Drum & Bugle Corps

  • rgonzales@rockin4als.org

Committee member for events and silent auction program.

Kelley McKenna
  • Board Member since 2017
  • Volunteer and supporter since its inception
  • Alum of the Appleton Americanos Drum & Bugle Corps
  • Father (Mike McKenna) was a marching member of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and also an ALS victim

  • kmckenna@rockin4als.org
  • 608-469-1119

Committee member for facilities, corporate donations, Project Lead for Social Media.


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