Our ALS Walk for Life team captains are one of the main reasons our Walk is a success each and every year. They send out emails, make phone calls and post on social media, all in their fervent effort to recruit teammates and fundraise to support our Chicagoland ALS community.
Joining the ranks this year is one of our youngest team captains yet! At just 16-years-old, Barrington High School junior Aubrey Launer will be leading veteran team Paul Launer’s Iron Horse Brigade to another ALS Walk for Life.
“I’ve been wanting to be team captain since I was probably 11 years old,” says Aubrey Launer. Aubrey’s dad, Paul Launer, was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 at 46. Two years later, Paul was determined to make as much of a difference as possible with the time he had left. With the support of his two young daughters, Aubrey and Sarah, his loving wife, Kris, and his friends and family from the Barrington community, Paul pulled together a team for our ALS Walk for Life.
In its first year, Paul Launer’s Iron Horse Brigade raised a staggering $80,000 and had over 200 team members. Though Paul passed away in 2015, when Aubrey was just 12 years old, the team has continued to attend the Walk each year in his honor.
And Paul’s can-do attitude lives on in Aubrey. “My dad was my favorite person in the whole world, nothing could bring his spirit down.”
“He was my soccer coach for many years. Even after he got sick and started to lose his voice, he had a co-coach to speak louder for him. I remember all of the Indian Princess campouts and family vacations.”
Fueled by the Brigade’s long legacy and the memories of her father, Aubrey has big plans on the horizon for her team. “I’m pulling together a couple of restaurant fundraisers, and I’ve linked my Personal Fundraising Page to a Facebook Fundraiser. I’ve also reached out to some local businesses to support us or donate.” All of Aubrey’s hard work is paying off, with the team raising over $7,000 so far!
Aubrey isn’t letting her age stop her from being an active member of our Les Turner ALS family. “I think it’s important for people my age to get involved because being active in the community helps a lot of people. We are all part of a team or a family that sticks together.”
We are grateful for all of the members of our Les Turner ALS family who Walk for Hope, Walk for Help and Walk for Life.