The second Black & Blue Bash forAugie’s Quest, held March 30 at the San Francisco Marriott, raised $2.1 million for MDA’s ALS research program. Hosted by Augie and Lynne Nieto, co-chairpersons of MDA’s ALS Division, the event drew more than 1,000 participants.
MDA ALS Division Co-chairs Lynne and Augie Nieto
Two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Summer Sanders was the emcee, while best-selling author Mitch Albom (Tuesdays With Morrie) was the keynote speaker. Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting performed.
Auctions of prizes, including cruises, trips and tickets, and accommodations at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, added to the proceeds. A one-week stay at a private mansion in Hawaii brought in $27,500 and an opportunity to participate in a weightless flight with physicist Stephen Hawking, who also has ALS, went for $30,000.
Held in conjunction with the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s (IHRSA) International Convention and Trade Show, the Bash was co-sponsored by several leading fitness businesses. Mark Mastrov, CEO of 24 Hour Fitness, was the event chairman.
The Augie’s Quest campaign, started by fitness pioneer Augie Nieto, has raised more than $9.6 million to benefit the ALS Division’s research program.
Nieto, 49, received a diagnosis of ALS in March 2005. He’s the co-founder and former president of Life Fitness, and chairman of Octane Fitness.