As of 2016, after the Fifth Annual ALS Awareness 5K,
the fundraising total for all the years combined had surpassed the
The event raises money to help fight ALS and bring more awareness of
this devastating disease that causes paralysis as it progresses. The
funds raised go to ALS Worldwide and the Les Turner Foundation, two
organizations that are working to find a cure for the disease that
affects thousands of people.
As usual, the event brought out people from around the county and
further. Between race participants and supporters, the number added
up to more than the population of Emden. Groups participating
included volleyball teams from Carl Sandburg College and Illini
Central High School and the volleyball and basketball teams from
Hartsburg Emden High School.
With there being a high percentage of people from the small
community who have lost their lives to ALS, six people, many in
Emden know someone who has been affected by the disease.
Once the race ended, events continued with face painting, a silent
auction, 50/50 drawing, raffle, and bags tournament.
Braxton Schuldt, this year's top runner, broke last year's record of
17 minutes 13 seconds by finishing in 15 minutes and 53 seconds.
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The fundraising was on track to
break records too. Betty Jo Lessen, one of the event's
organizers who lost her father-in-law to ALS many years ago,
said this year's raffle doubled the amount they made the
Every year, Stacy Olson, Christy Cross, and Linda Zinser work
hard to set up the raffle and silent auction.
Emden's Stagger Inn, where the race begins and ends, is one of
the sponsors of the event. Stagger Inn co-owner Rick Schleder
(wearing red shirt) said, "I do it in memory of my wife's mother
who passed away from ALS. We have a good community."
The community's support for the cause is evidenced.
With such support, hopefully researchers can someday find a cure
for a disease that has affected so many in the area.