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Midwinter Night's Dream Surpasses Fundraising Goal

Northport students help raise $520,300 for ALS at eighth annual gala.

This year's gala organized by Northport High School students, alumni, and faculty was the most successful yet, netting $520,300 at Oheka Castle on Thursday and bringing the group’s fundraising total to $2.5 million for ALS research since 2005.

The organizing committee, led by AMND Executive Director and Northport High School chemistry teacher Don Strasser, honored several "Heroes for Hope" that give support and inspiration to the students. This year's honorees included actress Christine Taylor, journalist Katie Couric, and New York Yankees Pitcher David Robertson.

“What you have accomplished is phenomenal," Taylor said of the students and organizers behind AMND. "The only hero cred I've gotten in my house is when I did a few episodes of Hannah Montana, and then I was walking on water.”

Billy Baldwin led the live auction, which included reservations at Rao’s, vacations to Malibu and St. Johns and VIP Bruce Springsteen tickets. More than $58,000 was raised in the live auction and lightning round.

Those in attendance also included Adam Graves (New York Rangers), Jackie Martling (Comedian), Project ALS co-founders Meredith Estess and Valerie Estess, and NY Mets owner and Project ALS Co-chair, Judy Wilpon.

students became proactive in waging war against Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a deadly, and currently incurable degenerative nerve disease often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” in 2004 when two district teachers, Christopher Pendergast and David Deutsch, were diagnosed. They currently run five unique programs for high school students: A fundraising program, research, patient services, philanthropy center and AMND Chapter program. Each program provides numerous opportunities for students to get involved with community service. For more information on AMND, visit www.amnd.org.

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