AMND 10 year Documentary

Thank you to AJ Ingoglia for this incredible 10 year documentary about AMND.  Filmed in 2014, click the link below and watch:


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2016 Race for Research

2016 Race for Research

Kick-off Gala:  April 28th at Larkfield Manor.  Cost is $100 per person.

4K Race for Research:  April 30th at the Northport VA.  $25 to register.  To register for the race, visit the website below and click AMND/Northport HS:



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AMND 4K Race for Research

AMND 4K Race for Research

Location: Northport VA
Date: April 25th
Time: 8:00 Registration
Time: 9:00 Race Begins
Registration: $25 Registration fee which comes with a Tee shirt.

Calling all runners!!  Join AMND in our first annual 4K race.  The race will be officially timed by Result Timing.  Medals will be awarded in age classifications.

Register at, click on Northport High School

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Race for Research Launch Party

Race for Research Launch Party
April 22nd 2015
5:30-9:30 pm
Larkfield Manor
$100 per person

Come join AMND as we launch our 2015 Race for Research campaign.  Please make checks payable to “A Midwinter Night’s Dream”.  We hope to see you there!

Tickets can be purchased online via (Northport High School)


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AMND makes the Wall Street Journal

Team Packard WSJ Article Long Island students taking ALS effort national – WSJ

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AMND launches Team Packard Initiative

AMND launches Team Packard Initiative

AMND is proud to partner with the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins in a national initiative called Team Packard.  The goal of Team Packard is to unite students all across the country to raise awareness and funds for ALS.  Schools can register for the program and begin working with AMND on planning a fundraiser in their community.  To date, there are 5 schools registered.  If you’re interested in Team Packard, please contact us!

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10 year Anniversary Gala

Ten years ago, our dream was born.  We planted the seeds of change and you helped them grow.  Our 10th anniversary gala will be a final celebration of hope, progress and legacy as we continue our mission to fight ALS on a new path.

Please save the date:  Thursday May 22nd at Oheka Castle

Invitations will follow in early Spring.  Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you in May


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Finding Meaning

You know those pieces of advice, quotes, mantras or songs that have stuck with you? The ones you repeat to yourself when you’re having a bad day or feeling sorry for yourself when you know you shouldn’t be? For one reason or another, some words stay with us. I read Tuesdays with Morrie many years ago, but this quote is one I can’t seem to shake. Maybe it’s because the book has so many parallels to Dave. Mitch Albom writes, “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

In the year since we lost Dave, I find this quote constantly running through my mind. If you knew Dave, or if you’ve heard stories about him, you know that this is how he lived his life. He didn’t waste time at jobs he hated, he didn’t spend time with negative people, he brought smiles and laughs to everyone he met. He found the people and things he loved and he devoted himself to them. He didn’t have to re-evaluate how he had lived his life after he was diagnosed with ALS — it already had purpose and meaning. And through his diagnosis, his fight and his strength, he provided purpose and meaning for the rest of our lives.

Over 400 students have made their way through the AMND program since it began in 2005. I’d bet good money that every one of those 400 some odd people would say that they found their life’s meaning through AMND. Through Dave, through Mr. P, through Tom, Norma, Andre, Lou, Casey, Bob, Augie, Steve and Jim. The older I get and the more “real world” I experience, I see how true Mitch Albom’s sentiment is. There are people everywhere who are living their lives chasing the wrong things. Not us. We’ve found our passion: helping others. In the past 9 years, we’ve raised close to $3 million dollars to support the top ALS research centers in the country, we’ve built a student Research Program, visited dozens of patients and their families, lobbied on Capitol Hill, founded a Philanthropy Center, created AMND Partner organizations at colleges around the country, funded our own Laboratory, and more. And we couldn’t have done any of it without you.

You are our parents, our teachers, our mentors, our friends, our heroes and our loved ones. You’ve made it all possible with your gifts, your generosity, your support & your time. So, as Shakespeare once wrote, “I can but no other answer make, but thanks, and thanks.”

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The 2013 AMND Gala is just around the corner…buy your tickets today!

Buy Tickets to the Annual AMND Gala

Our 9th annual event will be held on Thursday, January 10 2013 at Oheka Castle. Tickets are $150 pp and can be purchased below. If interested in purchasing a table at the event, tables seat 12 people.



Price: $150.00

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Price: $1,800.00

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Vacation Raffle Tickets to Support AMND

Another way to support AMND and their fight against ALS is by purchasing a vacation raffle ticket. Vacation Raffle tickets cost $25 each or 4 for $90. The 2013 Vacation package is a 2 week trip to Hawaii! The winner of the vacation package will be announced at the 2013 AMND event.


Price: $25.00

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You may purchase tickets securely online or mail checks payable to A Midwinter Night’s Dream, Inc. A Midwinter Night’s Dream, Inc. is an official non-profit organization. Under section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS Code, your donation is tax deductible.

Please mail all donations to:
A Midwinter Night’s Dream, Inc.
155 Main Street, Suite 4
Northport, NY 11768
(631) 262-7428

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Join us for the “Get Into the Act of Philanthropy” event on Dec. 15 from 6-8 PM!

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Join us for “The Science of Halloween” at the Philanthropy Center on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6-8 PM!

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A Challenge

First off, let me apologize for my inconsistent blogging lately. I could do the whole, “life is crazy, work is busy, my sister got married and I had to run more fundraisers than I intended” thing (which by the way, is true), but everybody is busy. So instead, I will just apologize and try to promise that I’ll be better in the future. Does anybody else apologize at the start of every one of their diary entries for not writing enough? Does anyone besides me still write in a diary? Okay, sorry, back to my point…

The event is less than 3 months away!  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I took the train out from the city to attend the committee orientation? From that day on, this committee has continued to impress me.  After Dave passed away last winter, I wrote that the 2012 committee really “got it”. They had the compassion, the understanding, and a motivation that mirrored our own. I can say the same of this committee. Every update we receive is filled with great news – new sponsors, new patient visits, new ideas for the event. It just goes to show you how special Northport is: special teachers, parents, administrators, and most importantly, students.

But, as David McCullough preached in his commencement speech to a high school near Boston this past spring, it is important to remember that actually we’re not special.  One particularly relevant excerpt from his speech has stayed with me. It’s something I imagine Dave saying, and something I try to keep in mind every day.

He said, “Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.”

Our society has become one of instant gratification. We post pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to see how many people will “like” them, comment on them, share or “re-pin” them. We post tweets and status updates to let the world know what we’re up to, where we stand on the issue and how far we’ve come. It’s not necessary. Bask in your own success. Better yet, after you feel you’ve succeeded, challenge yourself again. As McCullough says, the fulfilled life should be nothing but a consequence, a gratification that happens when you’re thinking about more important things.

So, my challenge to you is to continue on your indelible path of selflessness. But go further. Challenge yourself to work hard, listen to others, speak your truth, be on good terms with those you meet and remember why we’re in this fight. It may be a long journey ahead but I have no doubt that when the cure finally comes, we will all be able to say that we had a part in finding it.

And that, really, we are special.

Here’s the link to the speech — it’s worth the watch:

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Please join us at PhilanthrOlympics! July 21, 10 AM – 12 PM

Click here to see the flyer: PhilanthrOlympics! July 21, 10 AM – 12 PM

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Please join us on June 4 at 4:30 PM as we dedicate the Philanthropy Center to David Deutsch

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April Philanthropy Center Success! Thank you!

The sweet sound of philanthropy filled the room this past Saturday evening at our event titled, Philanthropy is Music to Our Ears. As a result of your generous contributions, the AMND Philanthropy Center collected and donated $230.00 in iTunes gift cards, 4 sets of headphones, and 1 pre-loved iPod to the organization Music and Memory ( In addition, the high school student team of Kelly F., Danielle F. Azure R. Ashley B. and Katie K. donated a check for $200.00 to Music and Memory with money they collected through a raffle basket fundraiser. The winner of the raffle basket was Debbie Szymanski. Her family will receive a free music lesson from Cornet Music, a $25.00 gift card towards the purchase of theatre tickets at the Smithtown Center for Performing Arts and a $75.00 gift card to Monroe Music.

At the event, Dan Cohen, CEO of Music and Memory, gave a 20 minute presentation to twenty-five elementary-aged students. Dan also shared a video of “Henry”, a patient with dementia whose memory became “alive” when a song from his past was played using an iPod and headphones. (The video is available for viewing on the home page of the Music and Memory website.)
Following the presentation, five talented high school musicians demonstrated their instruments and talked to our students about their love for playing music. After a quick snack break, Danielle F. discussed the science of sound and used several unconventional instruments (i.e. slinky, muffin pan) to demonstrate how different sounds are generated and travel through the air. A highlight of the evening was when eight volunteer elementary students formed a band and played Row, Row, Row Your Boat on the floor using Boomwackers.

Following the music demonstrations, Azure R. read a music-themed children’s picture book titled, Xavier Ox’s Xylophone Experiment. In the story, Xavier Ox and his classmates experiment with building an extra-strong xylophone. This humorous book is part of the Animal Antics collection. Each story is designed to focus on a single letter sound. Following the story, our students had an opportunity to design their own instrument using empty water bottles, assorted beans and decorative strips of Duct Tape. (It looks like we found a new use for Duct tape.) Before you knew it, the Center was filled with the sounds of 25 shaking water bottle maracas. Overall, the 2-hour event was musical, memorable and very note-worthy!

Thank you to the high school committee and all those students who attended the event! Looking forward to seeing you at our next event!

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Think Different

I stumbled upon an old Apple ad this morning, a little bit of inspiration that really grabbed my attention. About five years ago, the computer empire released a campaign called “think different.” The commercial shows black and white film clips of our history’s biggest and brightest — from Martin Luther King Jr., Einstein, and Gandhi to Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Dylan and Jim Henson. Throughout the ad, Apple tips its hat to these icons, the “crazy ones” who changed our lives and everything in them. What struck me most was the end of the commercial which says, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

I couldn’t help but think of AMND. Maybe we aren’t the “crazy ones” who don’t follow rules and who have no respect for the status quo, but we kind of are. We’re kids. Every time a 15-year-old high school student calls a major corporation like Apple and asks to speak with their community relations department for information about a possible charitable donation, we challenge the norm. We break the rules. We see things differently. The parents, teachers and administrators at Northport High School deserve a pat on the back, because they are the ones who encouraged us, who told us to think outside the box, and who smiled when we proved everyone wrong.

A few weeks ago, I saw the documentary “Waiting for Superman.” If you haven’t seen it, you should. The film outlines the failure of the American public education system. It highlights a few students who are hoping to be selected from a lottery to enter into a charter school in their neighborhood. It exposes the sad truth that most children in America don’t have the option of a good education; they depend on fate to let them at a chance for a bright future. I always knew I was lucky to have attended such a great public school that encouraged me to work hard and “think different,” but it was hard to hold back tears after that film.

I can only hope that every student gets the opportunity we had – the opportunity to be the crazy one who thinks they can change the world – because they can.

If you are interested, here’s the link to the Apple ad:

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Join us on April 28th, 6-8 PM, “Philanthropy is Music to Our Ears”

Our next event will take place on Saturday,
April 28th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. (Please see attached file.) The theme
for our event is, Philanthropy is Music to Our Ears, and is
coordinated by an outstanding team of Northport High School students.
Please join us for two-hours of fun as students will participate in
crafts, games and stories that relate to our music-themed event. All
student in grades K-5 are welcome to attend. On the night of the
event, students will be asked to bring a $10.00 iTunes gift card or a
pair of headphones which will benefit Music and Memory
(, a non-profit organization dedicated to
bringing personalized music into the lives of the elderly.
Registration is limited to 30 students.

To register, please contact Bryan Horan at or For
more information about AMND or the Philanthropy Center, please visit
our website –

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February Philanthropy Center Success!

February’s AMND Philanthropy Center event took place on Saturday, February 11, 2012. The Valentine’s Day related theme was titled, “Open Your Heart and Lend a Hand”. Twenty-seven students in grades K-were in attendance and the event was a huge success! We had plenty of fun activities and snacks for the students. Our committee researched and helped purchase a book about Valentine’s Day through Scholastic Books Literacy Program, titled, “The Biggest Valentine Ever” by Stephen Kroll. Mr. Horan read the story to the students and discussed its central theme: team-work. Each student received a copy of the book to bring home and share with their family. Students also painted a heart-shaped wooden frame and made a Valentine’s Day mouse out of different sized hearts. In addition, students wrote Valentine’s Day cards that were then attached to candy goodie bags. These bags were then distributed on Valentine’s Day at an assisted living home in Bayport, NY. To end the night, students took part in a Valentine’s Day related math Bingo game and earned prizes.

We asked each student to donate a non-perishable food item that would help feed hungry families on Long Island. On the night of the event, a representative from Island Harvest was on hand to talk to the students about philanthropy and how their food donations would help others in need. In total, we were able to donate an estimated 76 food items to Island Harvest.

In addition, for the first time, the AMND Philanthropy Center partnered with Skipper’s Pub for a parent’s night out promotion where parents received a 15% discount upon mention of the Philanthropy Center. We estimate about ten parents took the coupon and ate at Skippers that evening and are looking forward to offering this promotion again!

The night was a great success!! The kids had a great time painting, reading, eating, and playing some fun games. The committee had a great time planning and participating in the event, and can’t wait to plan another one. Stay tuned for news about our next event!

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2012 AMND Event

A special thanks to all those in attendance, without your continuous support we would not have been able to surpass our seemingly impossible goal. This years A Midwinter Night’s Dream event raised $521,000 for ALS research and families afflicted with this horrific disease. Please visit the 2012 AMND Event page under Annual Gala for more information regarding our event.  As the event was amazing we were missing some very special people to the A Midwinter Night’s Dream family, Mr. David Deutsch, Ms. Norma Steck-Hess and Mr. Bob DiCandia.  Please take a moment to read Sarah Pattison’s blog, “Bittersweet Symphony”.  Thank you again to everyone who supported the 2012 AMND event and our fight against ALS.

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Bittersweet Symphony

First, I would like to congratulate the eighth AMND committee on an incredible success last Thursday. The event went off without a hitch and the committee surpassed their ‘insurmountable’ goal. The presentation was one of the most moving we have ever held. There were few, if any, dry eyes in the castle that night. I have seen eight committees come and go; 2 before I joined the AMND family, and 5 after that. I can say honestly that there was something truly special about this committee. After Dave stopped teaching, we wondered if the committee members would ever truly understand what we did; that Dave exuded wisdom in his every move, his every anecdote, his every joke. That AMND was so much more than just a club. These students did. They became a part of our family the minute they walked into their first meeting, and they have made all of us – alumni, teachers, families, friends, community members – so incredibly proud. I could not be happier to report that the Eighth Annual A Midwinter Night’s Dream gala raised $521,028 for ALS research and families afflicted with the disease.

Understandably, there is something bittersweet about the events every year. In one regard, we celebrate the number of years we have held the event, raising more money each time. On the other hand, each year is another year that ALS has gone uncured, that Dave has suffered from this terrible illness, that all ALS families mourn their losses. 

If you haven’t seen the video posted on the AMND Facebook page of the committee members finding out how much money they raised, take some time to watch it. It is pure joy. One week ago, we felt remarkable success. Today, we feel staggering defeat. On Friday night, we found out that Dave was suffering from pneumonia in the hospital. It is with the utmost sadness that I tell you he will be entering end-of-life care tomorrow. I was lucky enough to get a chance to say goodbye today. But for those of you who didn’t, I will tell you that Dave’s teary eyes expressed two things: love and gratitude.  I can say nothing more than what I told him today:  he changed my whole life. Not only did he inspire me to pursue science and fundraising, he changed the way I view the world and every interaction I have.  In his speech to the graduating class of Northport High School in 2005, Dave spoke about the lessons he learned from his father’s death. He said, “I learned that life can be short. I learned that in the end, family and friends are all that matter. I learned that I should cherish every day as if it were my last. I learned that I should do the things that make me happy now. I learned that I should view the world and my life as a gift. I learned that I shouldn’t waste time being sad and grumpy.”

I speak for everyone who has ever been touched by Dave when I say that we learned all that and so much more from him. His strength and grace in the face of adversity will remain unmatched. How many people can truly say that hundreds of students, friends, colleagues and family members call them their hero? Dave can. He has touched us all in a different way. But I know I can speak for everyone when I say we will take his lessons and his wisdom with us wherever we go. We will never stop fighting this disease, and most of all, we will never forget his smile.

I love you bunches, Dave. Rock on.

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Upcoming Philanthropy Center Event

Magic of the Holidays!

Saturday, December 10th
6:00 PM—8:00 PM

 Join us for our Holiday event, where students will partake in 2 hours of fun, including ornament making, stories, and a few magical surprises! Please bring a new toy to benefit the Family Service League’s ‘Project Toy’ 

To register…Please contact Bryan Horan at or For more information about AMND or the Philanthropy Center, please visit our website –

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Time flies…

A few weeks ago, we (and by we, I mean some of my favorite AMND Directors and I) went to the Project ALS Tomorrow is Tonight event at Lucky Strike Lanes in Manhattan. This was amazing for a multitude of reasons. First, Project puts on the most fabulous, star-studded yet somehow relaxed and might I say, delicious events in the non-profit world. I’ve been to this event before – the first was about 2 months into my first year in college. I remember looking around at that event, feeling nostalgic about living and breathing AMND in high school and thinking “I’m so old.” That’s the funny part about growing up, though. Four years later, I found myself at the event again, this time as a young professional. I looked around, took it all in, and thought “I’m so old.” Now for all of you rolling your eyes, I do realize that I am 22 and am actually anything but old. But growing up is a strangely unique experience when you finally realize you’re doing it. It is exciting, nerve-wracking, satisfying and stressful all at the same time. With growing up comes some pesky responsibilities (Like paying rent – who ever thought your salary could disappear so quickly?) but most importantly, you really start becoming who your parents, teachers, family and friends have molded you to be. That’s the unique part. I took a step back at the event the other week and watched myself and my friends act with poise and maturity while talking to celebrities, explaining our story and the devastating effects of ALS to guests, talking to world renowned research scientists and doctors, CEO’s and corporate sponsors, and to be honest, I was a little taken aback.

I think I can speak for all AMND alumni when I say AMND has prepared us to be adults a little better than any class, club, teacher or work experience ever could. As a professional in the non-profit world especially, I’m grateful for that. It’s an amazing thing to feel so accomplished at such a young age, and it’s something I will never take for granted.

While we’re on the topic of time flying, the event is around the corner! Could this really be number 8? I remember hearing about the first event over the loud speaker in high school. I can’t believe I am now not only removed from high school, but also from college. In an effort to keep heart palpitations to a minimum, Strasser put me in charge of the presentation last year. I’m really looking forward to that experience again. I’ve always enjoyed working under pressure, but having 550 eyes staring at a screen and microphone, waiting for the show to go off without a hitch is a whole different kind of pressure — the kind I live for! I’m really looking forward to the event this year and after my visit with Dave a few weeks ago, I know he is too. Providing a night out for ALS patients and caregivers is one of my favorite aspects of the event. Not only are we raising money for the cause, we are letting those afflicted with this awful disease put on a suit or a little lipstick and relax with 500 of their closest friends. It doesn’t get any better than that.

I hope to see you all there on January 12th! I’ll be the one in the corner of the ballroom dimming the lights.

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Champions for Charity Benefit

A Midwinter Night’s Dream to participate in Americana Manhasset’s Champions for Charity®  Holiday Shopping Benefit.

A Midwinter Night’s Dream is pleased to be chosen this year as a participant in Americana Manhasset’s Champions for Charity® event. Help support CCI doing your holiday shopping from Thursday, December 1 through Saturday, December 3, over 70 participating Americana Manhasset and Wheatley Plaza stores will donate 25% of designated pre-tax purchases to the participating organization(s) of the customer’s choice.  Purchases are not automatically eligible; you must register for a complimentary CHAMPION CARD.

 IT’S EASY:  Simply designate A Midwinter Night’s Dream as your charity of choice and present your CHAMPION CARD when making purchases during the event.  25% will be automatically calculated and submitted to us.  Your Champion Card is not a credit card or used as any form of payment; your Champion Card simply allocates the charity you chose to support. Please be sure to allocate A Midwinter Night’s Dream as your charity of choice when registering and Champions for Charity will donate 25% of your pre-tax purchases to AMND.  It’s that easy.  

 IT’S SIMPLE TO REGISTER:     Click here to sign up today for your complimentary Champion Card at championsforcharity.orgBe sure to select A Midwinter Night’s Dream as your charity.

                       Or call direct at 800 818-6767

                       Or you may go in person to the Americana Manhasset’s Concierge Store

You must register for your Champion Card as you will need it at the time of purchase.  If you forget to bring your card, simply call or walk over to the Concierge and they will assist you.     Register to support A Midwinter Night’s Dream.

 PERSONAL SHOPPING: Americana Manhasset offers Concierge Service and complementary personal shopping to accommodate those who may need assistance or those who may not be in town and would like to pre select their purchases.

 ***All 2011 Champions for Charity® shoppers will be eligible to win a $1,000 Americana Manhasset GiftCard.***

 For more information about Champions for Charity®, visit ,call 800.818.6767, or visit Americana Manhasset’s Concierge Store.


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Upcoming Philanthropy Center Event

Fit Philanthropy into Your Life!

Saturday, November 19th

6:00 PM—8:00 PM

Please join us for two-hours of fun as students will take part in a physical fitness activity (Zumba), enjoy healthy snacks, and be entertained with stories and activities that relate to our “fit” theme. All students in grades K-5 are welcome to attend. On the evening of the event, we ask that attending students bring a pair of new or used jeans (that don’t “fit”) which will benefit the organization Pocket Full of Sunshine—

 To register…Please contact Bryan Horan at or For more information about AMND or the Philanthropy Center, please visit our website –


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I’ve been thinking a lot about non-profits lately. There are over 1 million non-profit organizations in the US. 1,202,573 was the last reported number (that I can find with a quick Google search, at least). Just think about that number for a second. Remember trying to conceptualize Avogadro’s number in Chemistry in 10th grade? (For those of you less nerdy folk, it’s 6.02 x 1023 – particles in a mole, molecules in a mole, atoms in a mole…you get the idea). That’s the feeling I get when I consider 1,202,573 living, breathing, good-doing, non-profit organizations. Of course, spread out across the entire country, it’s not really that many. What makes the number unique is realizing that behind each one of those million and some odd organizations, there is a following of people passionate enough to devote their lives to the worthy cause. Now that’s a lot of passion.

Besides the invaluable real-world preparation AMND gave me, the thing I learned most about was passion. Whenever I see Dave Deutsch or Mr. P, or any patient for that matter, it feels more tangible than ever. Of course we’d all like to say that we don’t let petty things bog us down in our daily lives. Let’s not kid ourselves – a spilt cup of coffee on a new pair of pants? A stressful school day or work meeting? Someone we love giving us a look of disappointment? It’s all enough to throw us over the edge. But then there are times when I think about Dave’s attitude toward life and Mr. P’s never-ending words of wisdom. Some might say they are the ones with the real troubles, but I’m pretty convinced they don’t think so. I think we all have a lot to learn about the healing nature of passion. Every day that Dave and Mr. P wake up, I imagine the passion to find a cure for ALS is just bursting from inside them. And with passion, the little things that stress us out just don’t seem worth our energy anymore.

A lot of people ask me what is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received. That’s an easy one. About 3 years ago, Dave and I were talking online. Before he signed off, he wrote “Whatever it is, do it for Dave.” I have a lot left to learn, but I think those 1,202,573 organizations are on to something. I think passion might be the cure to everything.

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Philanthropists Found Among the Fossils

Philanthropists Found Among the Fossils

AMND Philanthropy Center students learn about dinosaur digs and altruism from SBU paleontologist Dr. David Krause

On Saturday, August 20th, the AMND Philanthropy Center hosted an event titled, Roar! Back to School with Dinosaurs. Twenty-two students in grades K-5 took part in a two-hour exploration of both fossils and philanthropy. Stony Brook University professor/ paleontologist, Dr. David Krause, gave an entertaining and informative presentation that touched on his work with fossils, especially dinosaurs, and his philanthropic effort to improve the lives of children living in Madagascar. Following the lecture, the students worked collaboratively on a model T-Rex fossil dig and reconstruction. Finally, Philanthropy Center director, Bryan Horan, read the book, How Dinosaurs Go To School, and highlighted how the school supply items donated by the students and their families will benefit the Family Service League “Backpacks for Back to School” supply drive. The 164 school supply items collected will help many children in our neighboring communities get ready for the new school year.

For more information about Dr. David Krause and his remarkable non-profit organization, Madagascar Ankizy Fund please visit:, and


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August Thoughts

It’s no secret that most teenagers can’t wait to start their college lives. The freedom from parental expectations, the less rigid class schedule, the social scene…what could be wrong with that? I’m not going to lie, college is certainly all it’s cracked up to be, but for some reason, I always craved life post-college. I’m convinced that this desire to work, live on my own and start my life in the “real world” probably stemmed from a slight (but healthy) obsession with the television show, Friends. 

Regardless, here I am in the post-college real world, reflecting on how I got here, and all I can think about is AMND. Like I said in my previous post, I wasn’t willing to let go of AMND in college. I brought it with me everywhere I went and I quickly became “the ALS girl” on campus. Even then, I didn’t realize what a huge impact AMND had made on my life and my career goals. I went to school for Chemistry with the intention of becoming a teacher. As I started my own club, volunteered at a non-profit nearby, and began work as an administrative assistant for a non-profit consulting firm, I knew that my future goals were shifting a little.

It wasn’t until I actually walked across the stage to receive my diploma that I realized the extent to which they had changed. With the “real world” no longer looming and now an actuality, I faced a dilemma. I had spent the year mocking my friends who spent hours and days on cover letters and interviews, confident that I would be attending Graduate school in the fall. Now I faced the banal tasks they had been complaining about all year as I looked for a job in the non-profit field. I’m lucky that it didn’t take long for me to find my dream job. I’m currently in my third week as Field Coordinator at the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s incredible to think that something I considered a club in high school changed my entire life. I have no doubt that I would be happy as a teacher, and that may very well still be in my future, but the feeling I get from working at a non-profit cannot be matched. As I reflect on the path that brought me here and watch as many other AMND alumni pursue careers in the non-profit sector, it seems clear that there is no coincidence we ended up here. AMND breeds do –gooders, and I’m proud to be one of them.  As Douglas Adams once said, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” Stay tuned!

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Upcoming Philanthropy Center Event

The AMND Philanthropy Center will host an event titled, Roar! Back to School with Dinosaurs!, on Saturday, August 20th from 10:00am – 12:00pm. Please join us for two hours of fun as we will do crafts, activities, and have some snacks as we learn about the dinosaurs of Madagascar from Stony Brook University paleontologist, Dr. David Krause.  All students in grades K-5 are welcome to attend. On the day of the event, we ask that attending students bring 4 school supply items that will benefit the Family Service League “Backpacks for Back to School” supply drive and the Madgascar Ankizy Fund. To register, please contact Bryan Horan at or
Roar! Back to School with Dinosaurs

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AMND Philanthropist of Distinction

We just unveiled a unique and exciting new sponsorship opportunity!  Become one of 25 founding members as an AMND Philanthropist of Distinction! Please read the attachment and consider this opportunity.  We are accepting 25 members this year.  If you have any questions, please let us know.

AMND Philanthropist of Distinction


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Upcoming Philanthropy Center Event

“The Great American Philanthropist”

The AMND Philanthropy Center Committee will host an event on Saturday, July 23rd from 10:00 am – 12:00 am. Please join us for two hours of fun as we will do crafts, activities, have some snacks and learn about the great American philanthropist/ chocolate king, Milton Hershey. All students in grades K-5 are welcome to attend. On the day of the event, we ask that attending students bring two canned or boxed non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food pantry. To register, please contact Bryan Horan at

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AMND Over 21 Event

Join AMND for our second annual Over 21 Event!

Monday, July 18th
7-10 PM
at the Whales Tale in Northport

$25 Admission at the door
All you can eat taco bar, never-ending miller light and sangria!

All proceeds from the event go to the fight against ALS!

AMND Over 21 Event

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Sarah Pattison, Director of Marketing & Development

Seven years ago, I sat in a hot school cafeteria with a hundred other do-gooders and listened to what Mr. Strasser had to report about the recent happenings of the National Honor Society. It’s hard to believe that I now reside as an Executive Director of an official ALS non-profit – a seedling of an idea on that hot night seven years ago.  It didn’t take long after I attended the first Hoops 4 ALS to get hooked. Hooked to what? I’m not sure. Maybe it was the feeling I got after giving a little something back to a teacher who had given me so much. Maybe it was the camaraderie I felt between myself and my peers as we took on a mission bigger than ourselves. Or maybe it was just doing good.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.” What better simple phrase to live by?
Continue reading

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Jackie Judson, 2012 AMND Committee Member

In April 2010 of my sophomore year of high school, I sat in the AP Chemistry classroom in a little desk across from 5 AMND Board of Directors at my interview for the AMND committee. I sat there with sweaty palms, my “dress to impress” outfit and a new pair of ballet flats, trying to plan out my next answer to each question. Continue reading

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Grand Prize Finalist in Cablevision Contest


On On June 10th, A Midwinter Night’s Dream was formally recognized as the Grand Prize winner for Suffolk County in the Charity Champions competition. AMND received a check for $5,000 and an additional $1,000 was given to Northport High School in support of the school’s programs related to charitable giving and public service. Both Senator John Flanagan and Senator Carl Marcellino spoke at the ceremony and praised the students’ efforts.  Charity Champions promotes volunteerism and helps raise money for school charities. Under the motto, “Commit, Compete, Contribute” students were asked to commit their time and efforts to raise money for their charity while competing against other schools in their county.

Press Release:  Charity Champions Grand Prize Winner

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AMND attends “Meet the Mets”

On June 3rd 2011, AMND committee members attended Project ALS’ Meet the Mets event at Citifield.  The students spoke with Valerie and Meredith Estess, founders of Project ALS, as well as other ALS supporters.  The New York Mets are big supporters of Project ALS.

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AMND joins the Ride for Life

On May 16th, A Midwinter Night’s Dream participated in the Ride For Life, a journey ALS patients take on their motorized wheelchairs across Long Island.  The Ride for Life stops at different schools to spread awareness about ALS, and collect donations in the hope of finding a cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  The founder of The Ride For Life, Christopher Pendergast, a former teacher in the Northport School District, has been suffering from ALS for 18 years. He started his journey on the Ride for Life in 1998. This year is the 13th Annual Ride for Life and AMND is happy to have supported Mr. Pendergast and his fellow ALS patients as they travel through Northport and Commack.

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AMND Research Symposium

On March 10th, 2011 AMND held its second annual Research symposium. This past summer AMND students traveled to research labs around the country to help find a cure for ALS. At the symposium these students gave presentations based on their studies and a brief explanation of their experience. Our presenters were Nicole Knudsen and Nicole Seitter from The Robert Packard Center at Johns Hopkins University, Kelly Ann Walley from ALS TDI, Lucas Hoffmann from Columbia University, Erin McNally from Jenifer Estess Stem Cell Lab, Lars Farber and Angela Connors from Stony Brook University, Ellen Choe from ALS HOPE Foundation and Kate Macina from Jackson Labs.

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