We raise funds by providing VIP outdoor experiences to our fundraising participants — we lovingly call them our Never Surrender Family. They combine their passion for fighting ALS with a passion for the great outdoors. This family acts as a small army if you will, who continue to push the fundraising limits in hopes of ending this disease.
Our fundraising journey actually started with our annual ALS Fishing Tournament. Back in 1995, the tournament was started by family and friends of Kevin Kolquist. Kevin had been diagnosed with ALS and they wanted to do something to make a difference. And is now known as the Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament, presented by Kolar Toyota of Duluth.
Shortly after, four riders started the idea of an annual fundraising snowmobile ride when they rode their sleds around Lake Superior in 1999. The group received $15,000 in contributions, which were used to help those fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). This event is now known as the Black Woods Blizzard Tour, presented by the Black Woods Group.
In 2023, we began our newest adventure honoring the late Minnesota State Senator, David Tomassoni, who worked tirelessly to secure $25 million in state funding in support of ALS research and direct care services. The Tomassoni Tour - Cycle for ALS will be held in the fall on the beautiful Mesabi Trail, presented by b2Bank.
What To Do If You've Been Diagnosed With ALS:
If you’ve been diagnosed with ALS, you should start out by talking to your doctor or member of your care team to find out what resources may be available to you.
It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion when dealing with a serious diagnosis like ALS. ALS is not an easy disease to diagnose, and it’s been estimated that as many as 15% of ALS cases are misdiagnosed. Because ALS is a rather rare disease, many doctors have limited or no experience diagnosing it.
When getting a second opinion, try to find a medical specialist who has experience working with people living with ALS. There are some clinics that focus exclusively on serving people with ALS.
If you are looking for medical trials, we currently have a partnership with the Healey ALS Platform Trial with Massachusetts General Hospital. Locally, we provide the funding for the trial being brought to Essentia Health, in Duluth MN.