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This year, as for the past 35 years, the Les Turner ALS Foundation will bring together Chicago's top minds in ALS research and care, business, academics, philanthropy, and most importantly, people living with ALS, for one of the city's most elegant and most prestigious black-tie optional events of the year: the 36th Annual Hope Through Caring Gala, at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel on Saturday, April 13, 2024. There will also be a virtual option available with a link to view the program.


Online purchases will close on Thursday, April 5, 2024 at 5:00 PM

Online donations are still being accepted


Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, 221 N Columbus Drive, Chicago

6:00 PM | Cocktail Reception

7:15 PM | Dinner, Program, Fund the Need and Live Auction

9:30 PM | Dancing 

11:00 PM | Event Concludes

Black tie optional

Guests are encouraged to "Wear a Touch of Blue"

Valet and garage parking available at the hotel


 Masks are encouraged but not required.


For questions or more information, please contact Kim Kempf at 847-745-6024 or [email protected].

Harvey and Bonny Gaffen Advancements in ALS Award Honoree



  Dr. Merit Cudkowicz

 Dr. Merit Cudkowicz is the Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Chair of Neurology Service at Mass General Hospital.

Dr. Cudkowicz's research and clinical activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  Dr. Cudkowicz directs the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General Hospital.  She is one of the founders and former co-director of the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), a group of over 150 clinical sites in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East dedicated to performing collaborative academic led clinical trials and research studies in ALS.  In conjunction with the NEALS consortium, she planned and completed several multi-center clinical research studies in ALS.

She is Principal Investigator of the Clinical Coordination Center for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke's Neurology Network of Excellence in Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT). With her colleagues at Mass General and NEALS, she is currently leading the first ALS Platform Trial initiative to accelerate therapy development.


Hope Through Caring Award Honoree

 Anne Lidsky, PhD

 Dr. Anne Lidsky has been a support group facilitator with the Les Turner ALS Foundation for more than 40 years.

 She was a teenager when her mother was diagnosed with ALS, and she assumed the role of primary caregiver whenever she was home from school. Driven by that loss, she has dedicated her life to providing support, compassion, and guidance to families affected by ALS.

 In her support groups, Anne creates an environment where caregivers can express their emotions freely - to cry and be honest with one another, but also to find moments of joy and self-care. She attends services and offers hugs to those who have walked alongside their loved ones until the end. Her work is a tribute, in her words, "to everyone who did their very best to bring sunshine into a world that was often challenging."


 A Hall of Fame Celebration


  Steve McMichael 

This year's Gala will be a one-of-a-kind experience as we commemorate Steve McMichael's induction into the
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024. The McMichael family and his Chicago Bears teammates will be on hand to celebrate this long-awaited honor for one of the city's most beloved athletes, including a special video presentation.

McMichael has approached his battle with ALS with bravery and determination. In 2021, he received the ALS Courage Award from the Les Turner ALS Foundation. Today, he enjoys a steady stream of visitors at his family's suburban Chicago home, and the Foundation is proud to continue supporting him and his family every step of the way.

About the Les Turner ALS Foundation

Founded in 1977, the Les Turner ALS Foundation is Chicagoland's leader in comprehensive ALS care and one of the longest-serving ALS groups in the country.

Throughout our history, we have taken an individualized approach to ensure each person living with the disease receives the best quality of care and access to the most promising therapies. We treat each person like family, supporting them every step of the way, and provide their loved ones with answers and encouragement.

Our Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine is led by the most well-respected and successful clinicians and researchers in the field, advancing vital care and research in pursuit of life-enhancing treatments and a cure.


About ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that weakens the muscles we use to move, swallow and breathe. It can, in some cases, also cause changes in behavior and thinking. The effects of ALS grow more severe over time and eventually become fatal. The symptoms and progression of ALS may vary greatly from person to person, which can make the disease difficult to diagnose, manage, and treat.

There is no cure for ALS yet. But the pace of research has significantly increased in recent years, and organizations like the Les Turner ALS Foundation are ready to provide help and support to people living with ALS, caregivers, and everyone affected by the disease.

Hosted By

Les Turner ALS Foundation
Questions? Please contact us at:

Radisson Blu Aqua

Chicago, IL, USA

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