What is ALS? Despite being in existence for 75 years, most Americans know little to nothing about the disease. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a rapidly progressive neurological disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to complete paralysis. In the past 7 decades of federal research, the medical community has yet to find an effective treatment for curing or significantly slowing down its progression.
Since 2008, Taylor Farms has supported the resilient efforts of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI). ALS TDI is the world’s largest nonprofit biotech dedicated to finding an effective treatment for ALS. Located in Cambridge, MA, the institute is staffed with 40 scientists who are rigorously testing an array of treatments and clinical trials. 87 cents of every dollar donated to ALS TDI is given to the research program. Our involvement with this organization is spurred by our founder and CEO’s close friendship with a family who has been closely affected by ALS.
Bruce Taylor, our founder and CEO, and Ted Reich have been close friends since meeting as freshmen at Salinas High School. Ted’s son, Corey was diagnosed with ALS in 2007 at the age of 21, while attending college at Middlebury University. To bring awareness to the fact that ALS affects young people, not just the elderly, Ted and Corey founded Young Faces of ALS (YFALS) as a branch of ALS TDI. Corey has had the profound impact on raising ALS awareness by serving as a leader and spokesperson for the younger generation of people with ALS.
Each spring, Team Taylor and The Reich Family team up to host the Young Faces of ALS’s Corntoss Challenge, a national fundraising event that directly benefits ALS TDI’s research program. Taylor Farms has served as a “Platinum Sponsor” of the San Francisco event the past four years, donating $25,000 each year. Taylor Farms’ sponsorship is paired with the efforts of its employees, who volunteer their time and talent to coordinate event logistics and oversee product donation. The Reich Family also hosts an annual gala at the Claremont Country Club in Piedmont, CA, called Corey’s Crusaders – an event that Taylor Farms proudly supports. With the help of Taylor Farms and other gracious donors, the Reich family has raised more than $4.2 million dollars for ALS TDI’s research program.
The ALS TDI research program is near and dear to all of us at Taylor Farms. One of our own, Amy Taylor, daughter-in-law to Bruce Taylor, worked for ALS TDI in Cambridge, MA as an event coordinator from 2010 to 2012. She was responsible for 50-60 third party fundraising events, while supporting the company’s signature events such as the White Coat Affair, Tri-State-Trek, Cure is Coming 5k. Amy also led an organized ALS TDI’s first nation event, The Young Faces of ALS National Corntoss Challenge Day, all in support of the Taylor Family’s dear family friend, Corey Reich.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the nation by storm in 23014, an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote ALS awareness. From New Jersey to California, Taylor Farms employees took part in the nationwide challenge, using recycled water from our plants fumes.
TO DATE, TAYLOR FARMS HAS CONTRIBUTED AN ASTONISHING $1.3 MILLION TOWARDS ALS TDI’S RESEARCH PROGRAM.