First published in the May 7 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
Co-founded by former Glendale Fire Captain Niall Foley, who died last year, the annual SoCal Ride and Rally to Defeat ALS will be held on Saturday, May 14, in Dos Vientos Park, 4801 Borchard Road, Newbury Park.
The event, being held during ALS Awareness Month, will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. with staggered start times depending on the route selected. Then, at noon, there will be an awards ceremony and concert.
Kate Linder, from “The Young and the Restless,” will emcee the event.
Before he died in December 2021 after his six-year battle with ALS, Foley and his wife, Dawn, founded the ride and rally in 2017.
Niall Foley worked for the Glendale Fire Department for 30 years. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2015.
He and his wife often turned to the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis for inspiration.
“What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So, think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.”
In reflecting on the news of his ALS, Niall Foley said, “It was like God was turning over my hourglass. Each relationship has become more special. Most of all, I want to make a positive impact on people’s lives while I can.”
After his diagnosis, he became a board member of the Golden West chapter of the ALS Association.
Foley and his wife shared their story in many ways, including television interviews, newspaper stories, radio appearances and addressing a crowd of thousands on the field at Dodger Stadium for the team’s annual ALS Awareness Month.
In 2017, Dawn Foley, an avid cyclist and triathlete, decided to organize a local community ride to raise money for their Ventura Walk to Defeat ALS team called “Fighting for Foley.” What started as a small team activity with a goal of raising $5,000, grew to 70 participants and 30 volunteers, including Niall’s “Fire Family” from various communities, raising over $15,000.
The annual event has cumulatively raised over $720,000.
For more information about the upcoming event, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.