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Culver businesspeople don pajamas Friday for Reinhold, ALS

October 19, 2012

Reilly Reinhold during a February visit by the ALS Association in Indianapolis to Culver Elementary School to recognize her work in raising funds to fight the disease which struck her father.

If Culverites find themselves attended to by pajama-clad neighbors in stores or restaurants this Friday, there's a very important method to their apparent madness.

The Culver Chamber of Commerce is encouuraging local businesses not only to accept donations for the ALS Association of Indiana, and to allow employees to pay a donation "fee" to wear pajamas to work for the day on Friday.

The endeavor is a community-wide extension of an effort launched last year by now then-6th grader Reilly Reinhold, of Culver, to raise money to fight the disease which claimed the life of her father, Rob Reinhold, earlier this year.

As part of a service project in her 6th grade class, Reilly was given the green light by Culver Elementary School principal Chuck Kitchell to allow students to make a donation to the ALS Association, in exchange for permission to wear pajamas to school for the day. The effort raised $1,500 for an appreciative ALS Association.

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), long known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a degenerative muscle disorder which eventually claims the lives of its victims. Rob Reinhold, much to the dismay of his wife Rhonda and family, was diagnosed with the illness at just 41 years old.

As word spread of Reilly's CES effort, the community rallied around the family, raising more than $30,000 in a benefit early this year.

It was Reilly's idea to take what had been a school-wide effort to a larger scale, and she did so through the Culver Chamber of Commerce, at whose monthly meeting she spoke earlier this month.

"After Reilly addressed the Chamber and we all recalled what a great way the community rallied behind the benefit for Rob Reinhold last year," says Chamber president Dawn Brockey, "we were inspired to help her encourage local businesses to take a day and spread awareness about this disease.

"We felt it was a way the local businesses, employees, and customers, if they choose, could support a cause that seemed to really bring the community together last year," Brockey adds.

For those who don't make it to a participating business Friday night, donations may also be made to the ALS Association via their website, at webin.alsa.org.

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