Ketchum Classic raises money for Lou Gehrig's disease research

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”courtesy Warren Wagner” align=”alignleft” width=”300″] The Ketchum family watches the live auction at the Second Annual Ketchum Classic for Lou Gehrig’s disease research.
by Samantha Libraty
Applause erupted as a young boy expertly sliced off the top of a champagne bottle with an old family naval sword. Attendees turned to one another to marvel at what they had seen, preparing their bidding numbers.

The boy was auctioning a lesson on how to open a champagne bottle with his family’s naval sword to a recipient. The lesson sold for $5,000, all of which is going toward research for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrigs disease.

The second annual Ketchum Classic for the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) occurred Saturday at the Longwood Cricket Club.
Junior Sam Ketchum’s family and close friends created the fundraiser two years ago for ALS research because his father, Todd Ketchum, was diagnosed with ALS two years ago.
The Ketchum Classic consists of a tennis tournament, a silent auction and a live auction, Sam Ketchum said.
“Trips, sports tickets, food items and more were donated by companies and people for the auctions,” he said.

A separate fundraiser, called Todd’s Paddle Challenge, included Todd Ketchum’s close friends paddling 25 miles along the Charles River, Sam said. The money from that fundraiser was included in the total tally.

Last year, the Ketchum Classic raised $150,000, which was three times its original goal.

This year, the Ketchum Classic, Todd’s Paddle Challenge and other donations totaled over $120,000, according to co-organizer of the Ketchum Classic Karen Beecher, a friend of the Ketchum family.
Beecher said, “One thing I thought was really cool about organizing the event was that there were several of us on the organizing committee who had never met each other before that day we gathered to meet and discuss how we could help the Ketchums.

“In just two years, not knowing much about fundraising or running a major event like the Ketchum Classic, we’ve raised about $270,000 towards finding a cure for ALS. It’s a testament to the Ketchums and their friends and family who want to push hard to find a cure fast,” she said.

Donations can still be made to ALS TDI.