The ALS Association

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Progress

Former National ALS Association National Trustee, Laural Winston, Passes

August 24, 2015

Sadly, the ALS community has lost a true warrior for the cause, Chairman’s Council member and long-time National Trustee Laural Winston, who died unexpectedly on August 14 of pulmonary fibrosis following back surgery.

Laural served as a member of the Board of Trustees for 24 years, eight of which she served as the Association Secretary. For ten years, she served as Chair of the Patient Services Committee and led that committee through a long-range planning process to continue to serve ALS patients and their families. She was also an active member on the Finance and Investment Committees having been a chief financial officer in her professional life. In addition, she co-founded The ALS Association Orange County Chapter in 1987, serving as its president for eight years.

Laural became involved with the cause in 1984 when a close relative developed ALS. As Laural recalled, “Aunt Rubye Harmonson was diagnosed with ALS in late 1983, and I watched her meet the challenges of the disease until 1987. Aunt Rubye lived, and I mean really lived, even though she had ALS.”  Laural went on to say, “Every time I hear that someone has been diagnosed with ALS, I remember exactly how I felt when I learned she had the disease.”  Laural carried from that experience a flame of fervor and dedication to all of her activities with The Association.

As aptly said by Allen L. Finkelstein, former Chair of the Board of Trustees, “Laural was a great contributor to all people with ALS and truthfully in her own special way a humanitarian.  She will surely be missed by me, and I know, by her good deeds, by innumerable people who never met her.”

Laural’s legacy is the Certified Center Program for which she was the unceasing advocate.  Hers was the passionate voice heard advocating funding for the Certified Center Program at every budget meeting. How pleased she was to see how far the program has expanded and progressed especially in light of the additional funds made available by the Ice Bucket Challenge.

“Laural’s strength and dedication to the fight to rid the world of ALS will be greatly missed,” said ALS Association President and CEO Barb Newhouse.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”

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