Solana Pacific student shares goal to SLAM ALS

Solana Pacific SLAMbassador Cole Spector, Solana Highlands teacher Susanna Romero Reiss, Solana Pacific teacher Kelly Monahan (whose uncle is fighting ALS) and Solana Highlands Principal Matthew Frumovitz.
(Karen Billing)

Solana Pacific sixth grader Cole Spector visited neighboring Solana Highlands School on April 25 to spread his message about SLAM ALS, a national effort to slam the door on ALS forever.

“Imagine not being able to walk, to speak, to move and to breathe when your brain still works the same,” Cole told the students. “That is what ALS does to you.”

SLAM ALS socks from AreYouKidding
SLAM ALS socks from AreYouKidding

Finding a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s disease, is a mission close to Cole’s heart and his aunt Marjie Block has been fighting the disease for eight years. The entire family has become committed to raising awareness and funds for ALS and Cole’s cousin Madison Silver created SLAM ALS with the hopes it spreads like the Ice Bucket Challenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge resulted in $115 million donated over an eight-week period in 2014.

“Each and every day my Aunt Marjie battles this disease. She can’t even walk on her own and do things we can do easily,” Cole said. “My aunt has taught me the value of having a positive attitude and to never, ever give up.”

The month of May is ALS Awareness Month and last year Cole presented a similar assembly to Solana Pacific. His efforts were also featured on the national program “Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Hidden Heroes” on CBS.

Cole encouraged Solana Highlands and the community to be “SLAMbassadors” by getting creative and making their own videos and posting them with the hashtag #SlamALS and the website SlamALS.org. They can then challenge at least three friends to post their own videos.

The campaign has had celebrity participants like Vanilla Ice slamming a block of ice, tennis star Chris Evert slamming a tennis ball, Larry King slamming his desk and tap dancer Tommy Tune slamming his tap shoes.

Solana Highlands students stomp to SLAM ALS.
Solana Highlands students stomp to SLAM ALS.

Cole himself slammed ALS by slamming a soccer ball into a net, knocking it over with the force of his kick. At the April 25 assembly, he led the students in stomping their feet together to SLAM ALS and asked them to think of some ways they too could “safely” SLAM ALS.

At the assembly Cole was sporting special blue socks, showcasing another way people can support the cause. The socks are sold by Are You Kidding, a sock company started by two young brothers in Florida—they sell a variety of socks that benefit different charities. The SLAM ALS socks can be found at AreYouKidding.net. Cole said Solana Pacific has purchased 111 pairs, raising $625 for Project ALS.

For more information visit slamALS.org.


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