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Pelham Family Behind ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Preps For August Fundraiser

Pelham residents Jeanette, Taya, and Anthony Senerchia.
Pelham residents Jeanette, Taya, and Anthony Senerchia. Photo Credit: Submitted

PELHAM, N.Y. -- The Pelham family that sparked the nationwide ALS Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon last summer is at it again, this time with the 10th Annual Strike Out ALS Softball Tournament.

The event, taking place August 1 at Glover Field in Pelham, is being organized once again by the friends and family of Anthony Senerchia Jr.

Senerchia Jr. has ALS, otherwise known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It is also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease.

All proceeds from the day-long fundraiser, which begins at 8 a.m. and includes kid's crafts, sporting events, food and raffles, benefit the Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation .

Senerchia Jr., a lifelong Pelham resident who has battled ALS for more than a decade, started the nonprofit organization along with his wife Jeanette, to provide financial assistance to buy wheelchairs, in-home ramps and more, in conjunction with funding research for the disease.

Unlike other local ALS charities started by families, these funds do not go to Anthony but instead help others suffering with ALS by easing the financial burden and providing much needed medical supplies to make life at home possible. The charity has also made sizeable contributions towards funding.

Said Anthony: "ALS was considered an 'orphan' disease up until last summer, but thankfully this is no longer the case. It's still remarkable what transpired on both the funding and, most importantly, awareness fronts because of my wife's video."

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which came from a dare posed by Jeanette’s cousin Chris Kennedy, raised over $100,000 for Senerchia Jr.'s charity along with an unprecedented amount of donations internationally.

As a result, 2.5 million people donated $115 million to the ALS Association. The organization says the event was probably the single largest episode of fundraising outside of a disaster or emergency.

Anthony said that because of the awareness generated this past year and the support of the Pelham community, he no longer has to hide from his daughter's friends like he used to.

"There was an important lesson to Taya in starting the foundation 10 years ago," he said. " We wanted to teach her that it's not what you take from life, rather what one gives back that defines us."

For more information on the event contact Joe Senerchia at (914) 804-2926 or go to the Facebook page here .

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