Shooting Free Throws for a Cause: Pitt Panthers, UPMC Centers for Rehab Services Team Up

By: Andr??a Stanford

The University of Pittsburgh Men’s Basketball team made 445 free-throw attempts in the 2012-2013 season. That made the difference in some of their games. That will make a difference in the lives of families with a member who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or what is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating neurological disorder that affects the nerve cells in both the brain and spinal cord.

With May representing the start of ALS Awareness Month, UPMC Center for Rehab Services (CRS) teamed up with the Pitt Panthers to complete the first year of a basketball fundraising campaign in support for the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania Chapter.

During this year’s season, the CRS donated $10 for each free throw that Pitt Panthers converted from the foul line, also known as the charity stripe.  CRS contributed a total of $4,450 to the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania Chapter, which will support patient care services for people living with ALS.

“Our founding partner and CEO of the company, Richard Bowling, was afflicted with ALS [in the 1990s],” said Paul A. Rockar Jr., chief executive officer, UPMC Center for Rehab Services. “He suffered the enduring effects of the degenerative disease and we saw what he went through”.

“We thought this would be a great project to get involved with for ALS,” added Dino W. Rovito, chief operating officer, UPMC Center for Rehab Services. “It’s been very successful this year. And we hope to do it in the years to come”.

Visit the ALS Association website to learn more about Lou Gehrig’s disease.