The second annual Walk to Defeat ALS takes place tomorrow, Saturday, September 9, at Payson Park, Portland. It’s purpose is to raise funds to defeat the devastating illness named after baseball great, Lou Gerhig.
Forty years ago, Claude and his wife, Jill, founded the highly-regarded Swiss Time, 86 Exchange Street, that his wife and two children still own and operate. Claude, a watchmaker from Switzerland, arrived in Bridgeport, Connecticut for a job he’d been hired for. That’s where he and Jill met – her family having owned a jewelry store nearby – the couple had that interest in common.
Claude was originally diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but that was well under control with surgery. Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with ALS for which there is no cure – yet. Before his passing, Claude and his family returned to his home in Switzerland to see his siblings and other family members for the last time. Claude passed away at Maine Medical Center on November 7, 2017.
Registration for the Second Annual Walk to Defeat ALS tomorrow, September 7, is at 9:00 am with the walk starting at 10:00 am. It covers 3.6 miles.
In addition to the Walk, Swiss Time, is hosting a raffle to benefit the ALS Association. The drawing will be on September 30, 2019. Seven watches, a Swiss Army Navy Set, and a Chelsea Barometer will be awarded to the winners. Bulova, Oris, Hamilton and Tissot donated watches to the raffle. Five tickets cost $20.
“Without my family, I wouldn’t be here,” said Jill, referring to Kristopher and Stephany, her daughter who also works at Swiss Time.
Please visit Portland Walk to Defeat ALS for more information.
note: This post is personal as well for this blogger. My grandmother, Ella Harding Peffer, raised on Cumberland Avenue near the city hall, passed away from complications of ALS in the 1940’s. She was born in 1887 here in Portland. Back then they knew less than they do today about this devastating illness. It’s personal.