Carmel Valley youth named local ALS Association’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’

Megan Spector was walking along Mission Bay last fall at age 12 with 1,600 other walkers as part of the Greater San Diego Chapter of the ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS. It was Megan’s third time doing the ALS Walk, along with her parents and brother, Sheri, Steven and Cole Spector. Megan and her family were walking in honor of her aunt, Marjie Block, who has waged a four-year battle with ALS.

But Megan was having other ideas to do something more for her aunt and her battle with ALS.

Having sang and acted on stage since she was 5 years old, Megan started dreaming of a musical performance that would honor her aunt Marjie and raise awareness and funding for ALS.

Megan brought her dream to life by creating and headlining in a musical concert titled “Striking a Chord, a Benefit Concert to Help Beat ALS.”

Megan helped develop the concert program, secure other artists and event sponsors, and sell more than 450 tickets to fill the Irwin M. Jacobs QualcommHall on Feb. 11. Striking a Chord was a major success and, together with a related silent auction and raffle, raised over $34,000 for the ALS Association.

Along the way Megan overcame a few other challenges. Two weeks prior to the event, Megan came down with a bad case of the flu and bronchitis, and was only cleared to sing by her doctor 48 hours prior to the event.

Executive Director of the San Diego ALS Chapter Tom Courtney said about Megan, “All that Megan has achieved would be impressive at any age, and when you consider that she is 12 years old and coming off the flu and the normal pressures of school, it is quite the remarkable achievement. We are thrilled that Megan is our ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for our Greater San Diego Chapter.”

“This event would not have been possible without the great volunteers from the ALS Association, Jason Chase (the musical director), Pat Launer (the mistress of ceremonies), the amazing performers that joined me, my family and friends, and the support from the San Diego community,” said now 13-year-old Megan. “I look forward to the day when my aunt and others with ALS will defeat this cruel disease.”

Megan will be honored at the Combined Health Agencies Volunteer of the Year Award ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Megan will also sing the National Anthem at this Year’s Walk to Defeat ALS set for Sunday, Oct. 20, at Mission Bay Park.

For more information on the Greater San Diego Chapter of the ALS Association, visit