Augie's Bash returns to IHRSA to raise funds to fight ALS

Ready to rumble, Augie's Bash will land at the IHRSA show March 30 for a night of inspiration and fund-raising, all in the name of raising money to fund research and find a cure for ALS.
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Ready to rumble, Augie's Bash will land at the IHRSA show March 30 for a night of inspiration and fund-raising, all in the name of raising money to fund research and find a cure for ALS.

Begun by Augie Nieto, Octane Fitness chairmen and Life Fitness co-founder who was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease in March 2005, the inaugural Augie's Bash was at the 2006 IHRSA show, where it raised $2.8 million through sponsorships, tickets and a silent auction, which was a record for any event aimed at fighting ALS. Comedian Robin Williams and Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong livened up the show (click here to see a March 23, 2006, SNEWS® story, "Augie's Quest for ALS cure raises $2.8 million, raises awareness.").

This year, called the Black & Blue Bash (black tie to blue jeans), the event will feature Olympic Gold medalist swimmer Summer Sanders as emcee. Mitch Albom, author of "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," will be a keynote speaker. Musical entertainment will be by John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting. Organizers are expecting 1,400 attendees and funds raised to reach $1.5 million.

Nieto and his wife, Lynne, co-chairs of the MDA's ALS division, will also appear. And we bet you can expect other special guests in and out of the industry.

Platinum sponsors include IHRSA, North Castle Partners, 24 Hour Fitness, Western Athletic Clubs, LA Fitness, Lifetime Fitness and Ron Stenger Company. Gold sponsors include Octane Fitness, Equinox, Panda Express Chinese food and Long Beach Acceptance Corp. Athletic Business is a silver-level sponsor.

The event will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 6 p.m. in the Golden Gate Hall of the San Francisco Marriott Hotel, followed by dinner and entertainment at 7:45 p.m. in the Yerba Buena Ballroom. A pre-Bash event for the industry will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Moscone Center, Hall E, where Nieto will talk about his battle and his life.

On the show floor, IHRSA attendees can try their hand at a free throw for a donation of $5 a toss, also to go to the MDA's ALS research programs. As of the end of February, Augie's Quest has already raised $7.2 million to fight ALS, with a goal of $19 million in the next three years.

If you missed them, tune in to a two-part SNEWS® Live podcast interview with Nieto to hear him talk about the industry, its future, his battle with ALS and the fund-raising process. To access those December 2006 podcasts, click here or go to www.snewsnet.com/podcasts.

For information about sponsorships, tickets or other information, go to www.augiesquest.org or call 714-550-0161.

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