Family of Late Yonkers Native and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Co-Founder Pat Quinn, with City of Yonkers and Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts Host 10th Annual ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Community Members rally in strong show of support for patients and family members
across the globe suffering from ALS and fighting for research funding to find a cure
L to R: NYS Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow, City of Yonkers Council Member Tasha Diaz, Legislative Aide Ken Switzer for County Legislator David Tubiolo, NYS Assemblymember Nader Sayegh, City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, City of Yonkers Councilmember John Rubbo, NYS Senator Shelley Mayer. Joined by ALS patients, families, and community supporters dumping ice.
Photo Credit: Tatiana Diaz, Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts
Yonkers, New York – The Annual ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took place for the tenth year on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts (‘Empire City’) trackside at the 124 year-old historic Yonkers Raceway. Community members of all ages turned out to face some cold ice on a hot day, alongside family, friends and neighbors who are currently battling or have lost the battle to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“ALS”), a debilitating disease that equates to a death sentence because no cure has been developed.
The event is organized by Patrick Quinn Sr., father of the late Yonkers native and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge co-founder Pat Quinn, who leads the ALS advocacy nonprofit organization founded by his son, “Quinn for the Win - Find Your Smile Foundation”. The annual event draws local and state elected officials each year who take part in the challenge and included City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano; New York State Senator Shelley Mayer; New York State Assembly Members Gary Pretlow and Nader Sayegh; Westchester County Board of Legislator James Nolan; Yonkers City Council Members Lakisha Collins-Bellamy; Tasha Diaz; John Rubbo and Anthony Merante; and City of Mount Vernon Council Member Cathlin Gleason.
The hundreds of participants were made of individuals with a connection to the deadly disease, standing with current patients or participating in the name of loved ones who lost their battle to ALS. It was noted in the program remarks that the ALS patients who participated in the event in its early years had lost their battle. Their photos hung along the fence in remembrance. The event is held the first week of August each year because at the first event, Quinn committed to holding the event “Every August Until A Cure”, and the community is honoring those words and continuing the original mission of the event to raise awareness of ALS and the need for research funding to find a cure.
“We all continue to be moved by Pat Quinn’s spirit,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “His determination brings us back every year. We will continue to support the Quinn for the Win-Find Your Smile Foundation and the ALS Association and will return to Empire City Casino for the Ice Bucket Challenge every August until a cure.”
The annual event, co-founded by Quinn after his diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“ALS”) in 2013, became a global phenomenon in 2014. ALS, often called "Lou Gehrig’s Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Though Quinn passed away from ALS in November 2020, the Ice Bucket Challenge has remained a catalyst to finding a cure for ALS, with Quinn helping to inspire billions of dollars in donations for ALS research, which has led to expanded research and significant discoveries.
“I am always amazed by the community’s dedication to finishing our mission of finding a cure,” said Patrick Quinn, Sr. “I am so thankful to all of you for always showing up. We will continue to fight to make ALS a disease you can live with, and not one that diagnosed patients will die from.”
Quinn founded a nonprofit organization that supports patients impacted by ALS by providing cash grants to offset expenses not covered by medical insurance, including wheelchair adjustments needed as patients’ physical limitations change throughout the progression of the disease and home renovations needed to accommodate wheelchairs. Leading the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge once again this year was Quinn’s father, Patrick Quinn Sr., who continues to pay tribute to his son, and reiterated his determination to continue his son’s mission to provide support for ALS patients and their families, and to hold the ice bucket challenge every year to ensure the need for a cure remains top of mind.
Empire City has partnered with the City of Yonkers since 2015 to host the annual challenge (except in 2020 due to the pandemic) in support of Pat Quinn and the hundreds of thousands of ALS patients worldwide. As well as to continue generating awareness of the debilitating disease and to one day find a cure. Each year, Empire City donates the space, set-up, and staffing costs, as well as over 1,300 pounds of ice. The City of Yonkers donates the ice buckets and the stage for the event, along with organizing the online registration for participants.
“We are honored to host the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge each year,” said Taryn Duffy, Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts Vice President of Public Affairs. “This is a cause very near and dear to our hearts and we will continue to work alongside our community to raise awareness about this deadly disease and the importance of research funding, all with the hope of one day finding a cure.”
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About Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts
Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts is one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast. Featuring nearly 4,700 of the hottest slots, electronic three card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo table games, Empire City Casino also offers guests year-round harness racing and international simulcasting; live entertainment including the best party, tribute, and Latin bands; New York’s hottest DJ’s, and more. A selection of dining options will satisfy even the most discerning palate with fan-favorite fare at The Pub, and convenient delicious options at Lil’ Cocina and the Big Kitchen International Food Court. Visit Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (off I-87 at Central Avenue) Yonkers, NY, Westchester County, open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Empire City Casino is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information, visit www.empirecitycasino.com or call 914.968.4200.
Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts
Maria Cray, Nicholas & Lence Communications, (508) 245-6564, Maria@nicholaslence.com
Josh Knoller, Nicholas & Lence Communications, (201) 294-9586, Josh@nicholaslence.com
City of Yonkers
Christina Gilmartin, Communications Director, Office of Mayor Mike Spano, (914) 512-4017 Christina.email@example.com