Kiko Company will hold an auction Friday in a twist on the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for the local ALS Association chapter. The auction will begin around 5:30 p.m. at Kiko’s office at 2722 Fulton Drive NW. The winning bidder and the runner-up — or their designees — will get to dump ice water on company CEO Richard T. Kiko Jr., said Derek Lann, Kiko’s marketing and advertising manager. The auction is a company function, but Lann said he is telling workers to bring their friends and family “because this is not just a Kiko thing, it’s an everybody thing.” The winning bid, along with money collected from donation boxes, will go to Team Leo, which is raising money for the ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter’s Sept. 14 Akron charity walk.
Team Leo is named for J. Christopher Leo, who was a Canton police officer until amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) forced him to retire in 2009. Also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly degrades a patient’s ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. Most patients die within two to five years of diagnosis. Leo died in March at age 49, the fifth member of his family to succumb to the disease. Another relative currently has the disease. Leo went to St. Thomas Aquinas High School with members of the Kiko family, and his widow, Jill Leo, works for Kiko Real Estate. During Christopher Leo’s illness, the ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter “became like our own family,” Jill Leo said. Not only did the organization offer friendship and emotional support, it helped Christopher Leo get two wheelchairs and a power scooter, and wrote successful appeal letters to his insurance company after Leo was denied his request for a $7,000 text-to-speech device.
“I can’t say enough nice things about them,” Jill Leo said. The Northern Ohio Chapter is one of 40 chapters across the country that focuses on patient care, nation-wide advocacy and research. Chapter Executive Director Mary Wheelock said local chapters take the lead on care services, providing equipment loans, licensed social workers, support groups for patients, caregivers and families, and other help. The goal is to give patients the best quality of life possible “because, unfortunately, this disease has no known cause, treatment or cure,” Wheelock said. As of Aug. 28, the chapter had raised $449,485 since the Ice Bucket Challenge began July 29, compared to a little more than $93,000 raised during the same time period last year. “These numbers are especially staggering when you consider that 2013 was a record year for our chapter,” Wheelock said.
Read more: http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20140903/News/140909868#ixzz3CS4Djc5G