Auburn and Alabama fans can agree on at least three things: the importance of the Iron Bowl, the benefits of a good challenge, and often enough the importance of doing good.
If the first two things match the last, all the better.
It’s these three loves that brought former Auburn basketballer Gary Godfrey and former Alabama and NFL footballer Kerry Goode together. The two have teamed up to create the Kerry and Gary Challenge to Defeat ALS, and they want the full support of the state in doing so.
Her fundraiser will culminate on Tuesday, November 29, Giving Tuesday.
The Kerry and Gary Challenge is a fundraiser that pits fans of Auburn University and the University of Alabama in friendly competition while raising money to help state families living with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Life. ALS is a neurological disorder that disrupts electrical impulses to a person’s muscles. Someone diagnosed with the disease typically lives three to five years. The cost to a family living with ALS can reach $250,000 per year. This challenge is designed to help families offset those costs.
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Kerry and Gary’s challenge to defeat ALS is simple. During Iron Bowl week and beyond, fans of both teams have the opportunity to raise funds by visiting thekerryandgarychallenge.com.
The site gives fans the opportunity to donate to the ALS Association Alabama Chapter on behalf of Auburn University or the University of Alabama. Afterwards, fans are encouraged to post “#imwithKerry” or “#imwithGary” in the “#KerryandGaryChallenge” on their social media platforms to let their friends and family know who supports them in this cause. The school that has raised the most money by the end of Giving Tuesday will be declared the winner of the challenge.
ALS is a personal cause for both athletes. Godfrey was diagnosed with ALS in 2019; Goode was diagnosed with it in 2015. Starting the Kerry and Gary Challenge to Defeat ALS was a natural progression for the couple.
“Me and my friend and ALS patient Kerry Goode, a former University of Alabama football player, created the Kerry and Gary Challenge,” Godfrey said. “We’re challenging our schools in the spirit of classic rivalry to see which school can raise the most money for ALS families in the state of Alabama.”
Combined, fans from Auburn and Alabama have already raised over $51,000 for the cause, and it’s gaining momentum.
At halftime of the Iron Bowl, Auburn was credited $30,192 and Alabama $21,040.
Auburn University head basketball coach Bruce Pearl has supported the effort. Pearl recorded a video for the Kerry and Gary Challenge website, which has also been featured at several sporting events in Auburn.
“Kerry and Gary, they’re coming together and challenging all of us — not just Alabama fans and Auburn fans, but all of us — to raise funds, not for ourselves, but to help other families in Alabama who are being cared for by the Finances are crushed by ALS burdens,” Pearl said in the video. “You know it costs a family over a quarter of a million dollars a year out of pocket to care for a loved one? And all of the funds raised through this rivalry challenge will stay in our state, right here in Alabama.”
Other notable Alabamaans have also taken up the challenge. Governor Kay Ivey recently designated the week of November 21-27, 2022 as Kerry and Gary Challenge to Defeat ALS Week. Newly elected Alabama Senator Katie Britt and her husband, former University of Alabama football player Wesley Britt, have also shown their support for the cause.
Vince Thompson, an Auburn graduate and founder of MELT, a sports marketing agency, is a longtime friend of Godfrey who also rose to prominence. His agency helped popularize the first Kerry and Gary Challenge.
“We’re hoping to get a lot of momentum, that we’re raising awareness of what families and caregivers are going through,” Thompson said. “The ALS Association, nationally and in Alabama, has been extremely helpful because we want to raise some funds to impact research and families, but we also need to raise awareness and hopefully that will lead to some positive outcomes and a cure.” .”
Thompson had nothing but praise for Godfrey, Goode and the Alabama community.
“These guys have a will to live, and they want to inspire others and the caregivers and inspire the families to raise awareness,” Thomson said. “It’s very humbling and very inspiring to be in the room with these two guys. It instantly gives you a different perspective on life that drives you to do as much as you can to help them and other families.
“Alabama is a very, very, very charitable state,” he added. “Hopefully this will serve as a model for other states to work with their potential ALS organizations, but we wanted the state of Alabama, Auburn University and the University of Alabama to be leaders on this.”
To vote on The Kerry and Gary Challenge, visit thekerryandgarychallenge.com.
For more information on the ALS Alabama Chapter, visit als.org/alabama.