February 13, 2013
Tech to help strike out ALS
Hokies partner with Bull & Bones to raise money this season

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech baseball team is partnering with Bull & Bones Brewhaus and Grill during the 2013 baseball season to help raise awareness and funds for ALS research.

With every strikeout recorded by Tech’s pitching staff this season, $5 will be donated to The Angel Fund in the name of Pete Frates – a former Tech head coach Pete Hughes player at Boston College, who was diagnosed with the disease just last year.

“Mark Shrader is the owner of Bull & Bones, and this was his idea, he came up with this,” Hughes said. “When we did the ALS awareness game last year, we talked about it and he brought it to my attention that he lost a parent to the disease and it just went from there.

“Pete Frates was one of the best people that I had a chance to coach in this profession and he was diagnosed with ALS. He’s 27 years old. We’ve lost one of my wife’s best friends at 33, so it’s a disease that continues to gain popularity by killing people and we don’t have enough funding for it.

“So, it’s a motivating force for us to go out and raise awareness, and then to get Bull & Bones, which is such a reputable business, and Mark Shrader on board with it – any fundraising effort where there’s emotional investment is going to be a successful one – we are all pretty motivated to have a great campaign with this thing.”

The Angel Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting ALS investigations at the Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research, internationally recognized for its ground-breaking work in the fight against this devastating illness.

The Angel Fund was established in 1997 by Ginny Delvecchio, herself an ALS patient. She knew ALS all too well: both her mother and her brother had died of the same illness. Her spirit prevailed, however, and she worked tirelessly raising awareness of ALS and funds for research until she died of ALS in August of 1998.

“What I like is that this money is going towards research, funding research for cutting edge treatments and procedures to make some headway with this disease,” Hughes said. “There is some unbelievable research going on there, it’s just underfunded. So, to know our money is going there is great for me, because this is coming from the directive of Pete Frates, who is the guy who is suffering from the disease.

“He said ‘Pete, this is the place to get involved with. This is the place where the money needs to go.’ So, he gets the stamp of approval from me, I don’t need to listen to anyone else as far as to where to send our money. He’s done the research and he knows which ones are going to help save him.”

The amount will go up to $10 for strikeouts recorded in any ACC Tournament game and $25 for any strikeout in an NCAA Regional or Super Regional game. If the Hokies make the College World Series, the sum jumps to $50 per strikeout.

“What I hope to come out of this is seeing someone match the final figure,” Hughes said. “Bull & Bones did it and if we can get somebody or some other people to invest in what Bull & Bones is doing and go forward.”

Any individuals looking to help are asked to make a donation to The Angel Fund in the name of Pete Frates.

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