Ohio CPA Firm Conducts First Annual Fundraiser To Honor Former Leader’s ALS Battle
November 16, 2020 | New Philadelphia – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, does not discriminate. In the United States of America, alone, it affects around 30,000, with around 6,000 new cases diagnosed each year. According to data from The Johns Hopkins University, “it occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries,” and while most people who develop ALS are ages 40-70, the disease also impacts those who are younger. Tim McDaniel, a principal and director of valuation and transaction advisory services at Rea & Associates, a regional accounting and business and consulting firm, was just 59 when he lost his fight with ALS.
“An unexpected event can come out of nowhere. I was in the best shape of my life, getting married to the most kind and wonderful woman in the world and refocused my career on doing what I loved. Life had never been better,” said McDaniel in an entry on his online journal on Feb. 25, 2019. “As I worked with doctors to uncover the cause of my symptoms, ALS was the disease I was most afraid of. I wouldn’t read about ALS or investigate [whether] it was causing my issues because I was so afraid of it.”
To learn more about McDaniel’s ALS journey, listen to episode 184, “Advice from a Dying Man,” on Rea & Associates award-winning podcast, unsuitable on Rea Radio.
This year, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis changed the way local chapters of The ALS Association conducted their annual fundraiser while also making it difficult for Rea & Associates team members to participate in a way that would allow the firm to properly honor McDaniel’s legacy. So, to provide the firm’s 350 employees with the outlet they were searching for, Hannah Hunter, a senior associate in Rea’s Dublin, Ohio, office, stepped up to organize and coordinate a firm-wide “Walk to End ALS,” where each office could walk, raise funds, and remember McDaniel while participating in a friendly competition that encouraged employees in each Rea office to raise the most money for their chosen nonprofit ALS organization. The firm currently operates 14 offices and three satellite locations throughout the state of Ohio.
Rea & Associates’ first annual “Walk to End ALS,” took place Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Employees in nearly every office walked to help raise awareness of the disease and the need for a cure.
Rea & Associates’ first annual “Walk to End ALS,” took place Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Employees in nearly every office walked to help raise awareness of the disease and the need for a cure. Through their efforts, they were also able to collect more than $8,200. As an additional incentive, The Rea Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the firm, pledged an additional $1,000, which was distributed to the three offices that raised the most funds. The top fundraiser, the firm’s Zanesville office, received an additional $500 to donate to their chosen ALS organization. The office with the second-highest funds, Rea’s Cambridge office, collected received an additional $300. The office with the third-highest funds, Rea & Associates’ Amherst office, collected received an additional $200. In total, $9,290 was collected and donated to organizations committed to finding a cure for ALS, including The ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter, and I Am ALS.
Some offices, including Zanesville, took their efforts to the next level and got the community involved. The team encouraged the local community to donate and, as an incentive, conducted an event where local celebrities and office principals had pies thrown at them. In Rea’s Dublin, Ohio, office, team members conducted contests and served lunch for donations. Pictures from the day’s events across the firm can be found on the firm’s Facebook page.
“We raised a lot of money as a firm that will no doubt help the battle to defeat ALS,” said Hunter. “Tim is definitely smiling up above and is proud of Rea.”
To learn more about McDaniel’s ALS journey, listen to episode 184, “Advice from a Dying Man,” on Rea & Associates award-winning podcast, unsuitable on Rea Radio. To help Rea & Associates honor McDaniel’s memory and find a cure for ALS, please consider making a donation “In Memory of Tim McDaniel” to an ALS nonprofit organization, such as I AM ALS, a local chapter of The ALS Association, the ALS Hope Foundation, Team Gleason, Project A.L.S., or ALS Foundation For Life.