ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Progress



January Volunteers of the Month

Widener University Men's Baseball Team

I'm an image

The Widener University Men's Baseball Team at the 2022 Philadelphia Walk to Defeat ALS

Nearly 40 years ago, Malvina Charlestein, the mother of Chapter Board Chair Emeritus Ellyn C. Phillips, spoke with Nancy and Bill Giles of the Philadelphia Phillies and told them that “ALS belongs in baseball.” That started a historic relationship between the Phillies and The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter that includes events like Lou Gehrig Day, the Phillies Phestival, golf outings, and now hosting the Walk to Defeat ALS at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Kevin Burdick joined the Widener baseball program in 2016. The team had recently begun volunteering with the annual Philadelphia Walk to Defeat ALS, and they made it a goal to continue with this important cause. The Walk to Defeat ALS has grown in both size and complexity over the past 20 years. Setting up the event takes a lot of effort, and the young men who make up the Widener baseball team is always eager to help. Therefore, the Chapter is enthusiastic to recognize Kevin Burdick and the Widener University Men’s Baseball Team as our January Volunteers of the Month!

The Widener Men’s Baseball Team comes together as a unit to assist in any way that they can to make the Philadelphia Walk to Defeat ALS run smoothly. The Chapter’s events team rolls up to Citizens Bank Park with tables, banners, and boxes of materials, and the players sprint into action to set up whatever is needed. They also disperse throughout the Walk route to guide event participants through the course and cheer the walkers on. The young men’s high spirits and cheering adds to the fun of the event and creates lasting memories as they meet ALS families.

“The event is talked about by our players and alumni each and every year,” said Kevin. “They love being part of the Walk to Defeat ALS and interacting with the families. We pride ourselves on giving back to the community and this event is a way we are able to do that.”

Kevin added, “I had a player come to me during the team introductions to tell me that his aunt was affected by ALS and that he was proud that he and his teammates could work this event. It meant so much to him.”

Many of the players talk to the Chapter staff and other volunteers about the impact that ALS has had on their lives and how they plan to continue to support the ALS mission even after graduating. They each demonstrate a willingness to do whatever is necessary to help those in need. 

“Volunteering with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter has been amazing,” said Kevin. “From Kelsey on down, everyone has been great and has been truly appreciative of our time. In reality, we are the ones who are grateful to them. They work day-in and day-out to fight this disease so being able to help make their jobs easier is a blessing. I hope other programs and teams can see that a few hours of time can go a long way to helping find a cure.”

From setting up the event space to raising money and awareness to being a Visiting Volunteer, the fight against ALS is a true team effort. The Widener Baseball Team understands the value of teamwork. The Chapter is proud to have these players and coaches by our side, and we are honored to call them our Volunteers of the Month.