SAN DIEGO — The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced the seventh annual BASH for Augie’s Quest is scheduled for Friday, March 16, and “Entertainment Tonight” co-anchor Nancy O’Dell will serve as the event’s emcee. O’Dell is an MDA vice president.
The event’s entertainment is comedian Tom Papa. The house band will be Atomic Groove.
The BASH for Augie’s Quest — complete with a Mardi Gras theme — will be held at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles. The cocktail reception and silent auction begin at 6 p.m., with dinner and entertainment beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The event is inspired by fitness pioneer Augie Nieto and his wife, Lynne, who serve as co-chairs of MDA’s ALS Division. MDA’s ALS Division provides unparalleled help to more than 30,000 Americans living with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Last year’s event raised $1.3 million, and the goal for 2012 is $1.4 million. Since Nieto was diagnosed with ALS in 2005, Augie’s Quest has raised more than $30 million for ALS research.
“We’re expecting a great night and a great crowd at the BASH to help benefit Augie’s Quest,” said Augie Nieto, who turned 54 in February. “So many people have helped put us on the fast track to finding treatments and a cure for ALS. I am forever grateful to those who have and will continue to support the fight against this disease.”
In 2011, there were more than 800 guests at the BASH, including business and civic leaders and fitness industry notables in what has usually brought in more than $1 million for ALS research. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the BASH for Augie’s Quest website, or by emailing email@example.com for more information.
In addition to being an MDA national vice president, O’Dell is MDA’s National ALS Ambassador. An Emmy award-winning journalist, O’Dell joined “Entertainment Tonight” in 2011 as a co-host and is one of the more sought-after television presenters — and event hosts — in the business.
Papa is an actor/comedian who got his big break on Comedy Central, later being handpicked by comedian Jerry Seinfeld to become his opening act for the last eight years. Papa, a New Jersey native, is a consistent performer on late-night talk shows.
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is the presenting sponsor. Other major sponsors for the BASH include: Atlantic Club, Bally Total Fitness, LA Fitness, Technogym, Zumba, Hemelgarn Racing, Planet Fitness, North Castle Partners, Crunch Fitness, Equinox Fitness, Fitness Formula Clubs, Fitness World, Intuary Inc., Lifetime Fitness, McDermott Will & Emery, Millennium Partners, Octane Fitness, Xsport Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness.
Also, Zumba creator Alberto “Beto” Perez will lead a sold-out, two-hour Zumbathon on March 15, with proceeds going to Augie’s Quest. The event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., will be live at the JW Marriott Los Angeles. Additionally, a flash mob will begin at 6:15 p.m. for the Zumbathon in Nokia Plaza.
Through Augie’s Quest, MDA has awarded more than $26.5 million to ALS TDI, a nonprofit biotechnology organization dedicated to finding effective treatments for ALS. Recently, significant MDA funding supported preclinical testing of a drug by ALS TDI, which now plans to launch a phase 2 clinical trial to determine the drug’s safety and tolerability in ALS.
About Augie’s Quest
Fitness pioneer Augie Nieto started Augie’s Quest (augiesquest.org) in conjunction with MDA’s ALS Division. Nieto is co-founder and former president of Life Fitness of Chicago, and chairman of Octane Fitness. Nieto received a diagnosis of ALS in March 2005.
Augie’s Quest raises money primarily through a variety of special events, including: BASH for Augie’s Quest; Tradition of Hope in Los Angeles; Field of Hope Gala in New Jersey; Big Canyon Golf in Newport Beach, Calif.; ClubCorp Charity Classic at golf clubs nationwide; and Clubs for the Quest, a program that allows various fitness clubs across the country to engage their members in fundraising programs and events to benefit MDA’s Augie’s Quest.
MDA (mda.org) is the world’s leading nongovernmental provider of ALS services and funder of ALS research. Over the years, MDA has led the fight against ALS, investing more than $290 million in its ALS research, services and information programs. People with ALS can be seen at 200 MDA clinics across the country, including 41 MDA/ALS centers. The Association’s research, health care services, advocacy and education programs provide help and hope to more than 1 million Americans affected by more than 40 other progressive neuromuscular diseases.