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The 6,000 pinwheels to be installed at Stony Brook University represent the annual lives lost to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Each pinwheel represents lives lost annually to ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease

Volunteers are needed to assist Stony Brook University staff on May 4, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, when 6,000 pinwheels will be installed in a field at South P Lot on the Stony Brook University Campus. The pinwheels represent the lives lost annually to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The pinwheels will serve as a powerful backdrop at Stony Brook University's annual "Ride for Life" Celebration and Remembrance Ceremony, which will take place on May 11 starting at 2:00 PM.

The annual Ride for Life, started in 1998 by Christopher Pendergast, a 20-year ALS patient, advocate, and founder of the Ride for Life Organization, raises awareness and funds for ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease. The 12-day power wheelchair trek by ALS patients across Long Island begins May 6 and ends May 18. A cornerstone of the Ride is the Celebration and Remembrance Ceremony at Stony Brook. The Ride also helps support Stony Brook Medicine's Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence, the only ALS Association certified center on Long Island.

Area students, members of the community, and others interested in supporting the Ride for Life are welcome to help install the pinwheels. The idea of the pinwheels, conceived by Christopher Pendergast, is to remind everyone of the importance of research to seek better treatments for ALS and that a cure is "blowin' in the wind."

For students seeking community service recognition that may be required from organizations or schools, a form is available to recognize their efforts. All volunteers are requested to bring a screwdriver if they have one.

Refreshments are available to volunteers, including bagels during the morning hours and pizza and beverages for lunch. In the case of rain, the pinwheel installing would then take place on May 5, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

For more information about volunteering, please e-mail Janice Rohlf at punky11777@gmail.com.
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