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Big turnout for Saturday’s Walk to Defeat ALS in Columbia

Big turnout for Saturday’s Walk to Defeat ALS in Columbia

Family and friends of longtime Columbia businessman Tiger John Cleek wore these shirts to remember Mr. Cleek during Saturday’s Walk to Defeat ALS at Cosmo-Bethel park (August 27, 2022 photo from 939 the Eagle’s Brian Hauswirth)

While donations are still coming in and are being calculated, Saturday’s Walk to Defeat ALS in Columbia has raised at least $25,000.

About 200 people turned out for the walk at Cosmo-Bethel park, where they heard a folk band and remembered those who are currently battling ALS as well as those who’ve lost their battle with ALS.

Walk organizer John Cleek Jr. tells 939 the Eagle that he’s pleased with the big turnout.

“We’ve got volunteers from the Phi Delts (Phi Delta Theta), their fraternity, ALS is their philanthropy. And we’ve got the (Mizzou) Golden Girls here showing support. So it’s a beautiful sunny day and we’ve got a little band over here,” Cleek says.

Cleek’s father, longtime civic leader and businessman Tiger John Cleek, died in March after battling ALS.

Eight teams were represented on Saturday, and many walkers wore shirts remembering a mid-Missourian who’s passed away from ALS. They include Tiger John Cleek and Ronnie Coleman, and there was also a large group from “Team Bernard.”

“We’ve got a great turnout. Everybody is here to show their support for those that are diagnosed with the disease, and just do the best you can,” says Cleek.

Mr. Cleek tells 939 the Eagle that someone is diagnosed with ALS every 90 minutes. Donations are still being accepted.