New, Interactive Social Media Fundraising Campaign, Arrest ALS, Launched

Innovative fundraising concept leverages social media to raise money and awareness to end ALS.

Cambridge, MA, January 22, 2012 --( The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) announced the launch of a new social media fundraising campaign called Arrest ALS™. Arrest ALS™ merges together the world’s most popular social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, with a fundraising web portal to create a new concept in online grass-roots fundraising.

Organizers are hoping for 100 participants and to raise more than $10,000 in 2012. All funds will support the research program at ALS TDI aimed at finding an effective therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Modeled after the classic “lock-up” fundraising campaigns, Arrest ALS™ is an Old West-themed interactive, online fundraising game where participants volunteer to be “arrested,” and then their co-workers, family, friends, social network, etc. are encouraged to “bail them out” by making donations. Participants will get arrested for Old West-themed crimes including cow tipping, robbing trains and cheating, then will have seven days to raise bail. Participants will receive personalized RAP sheets that are fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter and will allow donors to easily donate directly to participants. Those who reach their bail will receive a certificate of release; those who do not will be locked up in the ALS TDI “jailhouse.”

Matt Watkins, one of the volunteer co-chairs for Arrest ALS™ said, “We are excited to help ALS TDI be one of the first to launch this kind of social media fundraising campaign. We hope participants will have as much fun playing this game than we had creating this concept, and we hope to raise awareness and promote the urgency to put an end to this terrible disease.” Watkins lost his mother to ALS in 2011.

“We are excited to launch Arrest ALS™ because it is a fun and interactive way to promote our mission, to end ALS. This program is specifically designed to empower more people with the tools they need to help us achieve our mission by using the same communication tools they use every day in Facebook and Twitter,” said Tish Tanski, Vice President of Development at ALS TDI.

Anyone interested in participating or donating should visit the event’s website at or email

About ALS Therapy Development Institute

The mission of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is to develop effective therapeutics that slow or stop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease), as soon as possible. Focused on meeting this urgent unmet medical need, ALS TDI executes a robust target discovery program, while simultaneously operating the world’s largest efforts to preclinically validate potential therapeutics; including a pipeline of dozens of small molecules, protein biologics, gene therapies and cell-based constructs. The world’s first nonprofit biotech, ALS TDI has developed an industrial-scale platform that allows for the development and testing of dozens of potential therapeutics each year. Built by and for patients, the Institute is the world’s only nonprofit biotechnology company with more than 30 professional scientists. In addition, the Cambridge, Massachusetts based research Institute collaborates with leaders in both academia and industry to accelerate ALS therapeutic development. For more information, please visit us online at

About ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cause, cure or effective treatment for the disease. About 5,000 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year; the incidence is similar to Multiple Sclerosis. However, with no effective treatment and an aggressive and rapid disease progression, the average patient survives only 2-5 years following their diagnosis. There are only about 30,000 US citizens with the disease at any given time. The worldwide population of ALS patients is estimated at 400,000.

ALS Therapy Development Institute
Mari Sullivan