Long after the “Ice bucket challenge” fad has come and gone, raising money and awareness for ALS is still on the hearts of Mary Jo O’Regan of Engel & Völkers Marco Island.
The “Cindy’s ALS Odyssey Walk” is named after Naples, FL local Cindy Amerine. She was diagnosed with ALS in November of 2014, and after battling the disease for nearly two (2) years Cindy was in attendance and was grinning ear to ear at the walk Saturday morning.
The walk was organized by Engel & Völkers Marco Island advisor Mary Jo O’Regan. She has been a close friend of Cindy’s for years now and has firsthand witnessed the side effects of the disease. The fundraising walk benefitted the ALS Association Florida Chapter, and successfully hosted 80 walkers and raised $5,500.
“We will defeat ALS and that’s why we’re here today.” Mary Jo O’Regan
O’Regan encouraged her fellow Engel & Völkers advisors to join in her efforts to raise awareness in the local Marco Island community. Helen Donaghy, shop owner of Engel & Völkers Marco Island, was one of the first volunteers. She was eager to support the cause and participated in the walk alongside Mary.
“I work with her (at Engel & Völkers real estate, Marco Island) and I think it’s an amazing cause,” said Donaghy. “It’s great to see so many people out on a Saturday morning and Cindy is an amazing woman. She’s an inspiration to everybody. It’s a disease that affects so many people and you don’t know until you have an event like this, how many people’s lives have been affected.”
Other volunteers from the community included Marco Island Charter Middle School, Marco Island Academy’s key Club, and residents from as far north as Bonita Springs. MIA junior Kendall Feehan said she learned of the walk during a Key Club meeting. “I just thought that if I had the opportunity to help people out, why not use my free time to help people in need,” she said.
To kick start the walk. Mary Jo O’Regan sang an original composed by Cindy Amerine, and her husband, “The ALS Odyseey Anthem”.
You can find a video of the performance at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_PMmSRkcQY
“I am overwhelmed by the community spirit that the event received from both Marco Island and Naples,” said O’Regan. “The generosity that people displayed will forever warm my heart and will certainly benefit the effort to defeat ALS, I cannot thank them all enough.”
Mary Jo O’Regan has encouraged her whole office to continue their participation in raising awareness of this disease. You can find Mary Jo O'Raegan singing the ALS national anthem at other events in the area as well. Her passion and spirit to finding a cure for ALS is contagious and we look forward to hearing all the good she and her colleagues at Engel & Völkers Marco Island bring to the local ALS community.