Donations to the Eagles Fly Foundation are tax deductible based upon the IRS determination of the foundation as a public charity. Donations are accepted by mail or by PayPal.
Employer Matching Programs
To maximize donations, your employer may match your donation based upon internal policies. We have learned that a number of employers have matching donation policies which allow their employees to help direct corporate donations. If you are interested in investigating this, please check with your Human Resources department regarding your employer’s policies. We are grateful to those who have already exercised this option!
Amazon’s Charitable Support
Another way to help at no cost to you is by setting up an Amazon Smile account. When creating your Smile account, select Eagles Fly Foundation as the charity you want to support, and Amazon will make a donation for each order you make. There is no cost to you with this program. You just need to make sure that you place the order through your Amazon Smile account. We thank you for supporting us this way.
Go “4 For 4” Honoring Lou Gehrig and helping us fund research.
ALS is often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Why? He was stricken with ALS while an All Star 1st baseman of New York Yankees. His Yankees teams were the dominant team of the late 1920’s through the 1930’s. July 4th, 1939 was Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium. It was there that Gehrig gave the world his “luckiest man” speech. July 4th, 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the remarkable address that unfortunately was to be his farewell to the baseball world. The “4 For 4” initiative is being launched in honor of this memorable speech by one of baseball’s greatest players. What is “4 For 4“? Simply, we are asking for donors to make recurring monthly donations of $4 to support research directly aimed at finding a cure for ALS. If $4 is the first 4 in the “4 For 4” initiative, what does the second 4 represent? Lou Gehrig’s Jersey number was 4. Therefore, we are asking for a monthly donation of $4 for #4. Please consider joining us in this initiative as we go “4 For 4”! Thank you.
An Open Letter to Potential Donors
The 2019 MLB season has reached a classic mid-season mark, and the focus is on the present and near future for players and fans alike. However, we turn our collective attention toward other milestones. Today, July 4th, is our country’s 243rd anniversary of declaring our independence. It also marks the 80th anniversary of one of baseball’s greatest players bidding goodbye to the game and its fans. It was 1939 when Lou Gehrig delivered his incredibly brave yet humble farewell speech. That short, but heartfelt, address to a capacity crowd at Yankee Stadium is a window to Gehrig’s being. Never one to seek attention, speaking before such a large crowd with his current and former teammates looking on was an emotional mountain for Gehrig to scale. There he was, having to bare his soul to the world, speaking about an unfamiliar disease that was ending his career and would claim his life in only two more years.
Mostfans today are familiar with his “Luckiest man on the face of the earth” phrase from his speech. However, the remaining, mostly unknown, words of his speech provide the basis for his curious claim of being lucky. In those words, his humble, honest and heartfelt appreciation of others is clear. The event was named “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day”, but there is Gehrig turning the appreciation around upon those that he was thankful for throughout his life. From his parents to his wife to Yankees owner, General Manager, on-field managers, teammates, opponents (NY Giants) and even vendors and batboys, Lou remembered them all.
As stated earlier, eighty years have passed and still, there is no cure for this cruel insidious disease formally named Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This disease robs its victims of everything and exacts a horrendous toll upon loved ones. One would think that given such a devastating illness and the borrowed name of one of the greatest baseball players of all time, a cure would have been discovered in 80 years. That same span of time has produced remarkable results in other areas of medicine and in different scientific fields. Who could have dreamed watching the Wright brothers take flight how aviation would develop? Eighty years later man was flying Space Shuttles after landing and returning twelve men from the moon and landed unmanned craft on Mars. To paraphrase Neil Armstrong, the advances in aviation are truly “giant leaps” forward.
With that as a backdrop, where are we with finding a cure for ALS? Advances have been made in developing aids for living with ALS. Breathing assistance via tracheostomy has been developed. Motorized wheelchairs have replaced manual chairs. Permanently placed feeding tubes provide consistent nourishment and I am “typing” this letter using eye-tracking software and enhanced computer hardware. This allows communication, albeit slow, clunky and difficult at times. How slow is it? Try having a conversation one letter at a time. As far as a cure or actual treatment for ALS, we have much improvement to make. The only approved medication generates only a life-extending period of a few months. While most ALS cases are deemed “sporadic”, there are cases identified as “genetically-caused”. My case is one of the latter. With all the celebration and fanfare regarding the Human Genome Project (circa 2000), one would think more genetically based treatments would have been developed over the past two decades. I can’t speak for other disease states, but my ALS cause IS known yet progress toward a cure is woefully lacking and painfully slow.
With all of this said, where do we go from here? It is time for another push following the incredibly successful Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014. Maintaining a baseball theme and tribute to Lou Gehrig, I am creating a monthly donation program titled “4 For 4”. Since Gehrig wore #4, batted 4th in the famous “Murderer’s Row” Yankees line-up and delivered his farewell address on July 4th, the number 4 is ubiquitously unmistakable in Gehrig’s baseball career. Therefore, I am asking for a monthly donation of $4 for #4 (Gehrig) on the 4th of each month. Going 4 for 4 is a great game for any major league hitter. Therefore, let’s ALL go 4 for 4, or numerically, “444”.
In addition to the obvious benefit of a cure for persons with ALS, a cure will return Lou Gehrig’s name to baseball more exclusively than today. He should be remembered for baseball greatness and not a disease. Eighty years of failure is more than enough time to use the name of one of baseball’s greatest players. He was a champion who worked and worked to be the very best. We should redouble our efforts to defeat this insidious disease. While “4 For 4” is the initiative’s title, donations can be any amount and frequency. Some may want to donate $80 for the 80th anniversary of the “Luckiest Man” farewell address. Whatever the amount, July 4th will be the launch date for this effort. Should you donate, please include “444” on the memo line of your check or in the note section if giving online. We appreciate your consideration of joining us as we go “4 For 4”!
Bryan Jones, pALS (person with ALS)
Founder, Eagles Fly Foundation
Donate at www.EaglesFlyFoundation.com
Or to The ALS Association www.alsa.org
Gehrig by the Numbers
|Career Statistics||World Series:|
|Games Played||2164 (2130 consecutive)||34|
|Voted MVP||1927,1936||World Series:|
|Triple Crown Winner||1934||Appearances 7|
|Hall of Fame Inductee||1939||Championships 6|
Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Address, July 4, 1939
Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law, who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife, who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.
So, I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”
Donations by mail are received at the following address:
Eagles Fly Foundation
P.O. Box 604
Monroe, MI 48161
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