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Paddle for Peacha and to Defeat ALS

Personal Fundraising Goal: $100,000.00

Total Number of Gifts: 74
Total Value of Gifts: $36,180.00

Recent Donors

Bessie & Jack Doremus

Judy & Sherrill Sipes

Julie Wheeler

Montalto Family

Genzyme Corporation

Pam Seman

Catherine & Tom Kane

The Balzer Family

JIm and Mary Cowherd

Bill Stott

Full Donor List Opens new window.Full Donor List

Mission Statement

To lead the fight to cure and treat ALS through global, cutting-edge research, and to empower people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.

A Good Greek Girl

My Mom, Peacha Horton, was born in Delano, California and a child of Greek immigrants. She ultimately became a third grade school teacher in Hermosa Beach and met my dad, Tom Horton, while working at a hamburger stand which later became The Bottle Inn. She loved to Greek dance, play tennis, and share laughs with friends during regular bridge games. She was a devoted wife and mother who thoroughly enjoyed being a grandmother to her four whippersnappers.

In 2004, Mom began to slur her speech with certain words, and then began to experience muscle weakness, and choking while eating and drinking. After 1 year of doctor visits and multiple tests showing inconclusive results, she was ultimately diagnosed with the Bulbar form of ALS, which is aggressive. She passed away June 9, 2005.

It's been 8 years since Mom passed, and the experience still haunts me today. During those 8 years, a lot has happened in ALS research and establishing standards of care, which brings more hope to people living with ALS than ever before. Additionally, 100 valid clinical research projects remain dormant due to lack of appropriate funding, and that is why I continue to ask for your support in funding the search for a cure to Defeat ALS.

The 2013 Rock 2 Rock and the Catalina Classic

Although I wasn't able to help Mom while she dealt with ALS, I decided in 2007 to participate in The Catalina Classic 32 Mile Open Ocean Paddleboard Race to honor my memory of Mom and to raise funds for The Golden West Chapter of The ALS Association which offers incredible support to people with ALS and their families, and supports research to find a cure.

I have participated in this event every year since and have raised over $100,000 to date for the The ALS Association, thanks to family, friends, strangers, and my former employer Genzyme. Additionally, I have found that my participation has been therapeutic for me to ease the guilt I felt while Mom had the disease and I was powerless to help her overcome it. I invite you to support the The ALS Association’s work of providing tools and services to people with ALS who struggle with simple activities of daily living and the ability to speak, as well as funding research to find a cure.

This year, the Rock 2 Rock Paddleboard race is on Sunday, Father’s Day, June 16th. It begins at the Catalina Isthmus and finishes at Cabrillo Beach (22.17 miles). My 16 year old son, Cole, and I will be doing this race individually. Then, the Catalina Classic Paddleboard race, is on Sunday, August 25th, beginning at the Catalina Isthmus and finishing at Manhattan Beach Pier (32 miles).

Any amount that is appropriate for you will be gladly accepted and put to good use. My fundraising goal for 2013 is $30,000, so please think big! You can contribute now via credit card by clicking on the "Donate to the Fund" button beneath my picture on this page, or mail a check to The ALS Association - Golden West Chapter, P.O. Box 565, Agoura Hills, CA 91376-0565. Be sure to put “Paddling for Peacha” in the memo section of your check.

Thank you for your support. When you are waking up the morning of June 16 and August 25th, cuddled up in your cozy bed, think of Cole and I out in the middle of the ocean paddling along somewhere between Catalina Island and The South Bay coastline.

See Tom Horton's NBC4 Interview and listen to his radio interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqxNBCgxefc

http://www.kmozart.com/media/audio/popup/?ID=23

Guest Book

If you would like, you can add your name and a short message to our Guest Book. Thank you.

Sign the Guest Book

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Fran Delaney-Barron
Thu, Aug 22, 2013
Tommy, your mom would be so proud! I remember your mom as such a sweet person and member of our Horton Catering team!As a teacher myself, I now understand how hard it must have been to teach AND then also work catering jobs! Wow!She was a super hero and now so are you! Happy paddling, Tommy!

LeeAnn and Maurice Robinson
Sun, Aug 04, 2013
Tom, Way to go! Your dedication and persistence is an inspiration to us all!

David Largent
Mon, Jun 24, 2013
Congrats on your successful paddle Tommy and Cole. What a great way to spend Fathers Day. The Largent family is proud of you...

Bob Wyler
Fri, Jun 21, 2013
What a touching story! Good on you, Tom. Have a good paddle!

Andy Robertson
Sat, Sep 24, 2011
I am pleased to make a donation from my new home in Heidelberg, Germany.

Soni and Howard Peters
Tue, Aug 23, 2011
Tom - good luck on the paddle!

The Swenumson/Horton Family
Tue, Aug 23, 2011
Tommy Bro!
We will be thinking of you as you paddle and we drink coffee! To paraphrase - "hands to work, heart to Peacha"!
Love ya man,
Eric, Kathleen, Madeline & TJ

Ron Roebuck
Sun, Aug 22, 2010
Tom, for those who don't know him, is one of the nicest, happiest guys I know. I am honored to do a small part to help him cross the channel, and to add to a groundswell that could end this terrible disease.
Good on ya, Tom, and I will see you on the island!

Doug Weems
Fri, Aug 28, 2009
Tom, you're the man! Great paddle with you over the last couple seasones...looking forward to many more crossings with you! Bill Taylor is who I wanted to make my donation in honor of. He is a great friend and has been battling ALS for a long time.

Ginger Bredesen
Thu, Aug 27, 2009
I lost my wonderful father, John Coe, to ALS. I miss him every day.
Good Luck in the paddle and thank you for your fundraising efforts.

Terri Millard
Mon, Aug 10, 2009
I lost my brother, Guy DuMonte, to this horrible disease on March 11th, 2009. One of his most fervent wishes was that he could donate his tissue to help find a cure. Sadly, it wasn't possible, but through his death, changes were made to the program to help families prepare in advance to deliver tissue samples in a timely manner. Your contribution to help find a cure touches my heart, and I pray for your success in this and future endeavors. Thank you so very much and God bless.

BARBARA KOLCH
Fri, Aug 07, 2009
MY SISTER KARAN SLEPSKI HAS HAD A.L.S SINCE SHE WAS 17 YRS OLD. BACK THEN THEY DIDN'T KNOW MUCH ON HOW TO TREAT IT. THEY STILL DON'T. KARAN IS STILL WITH US. JUST TURNED 55 YRS OLD AUG 3RD. KARAN IS THE OLDEST FEMALE IN THE U.S.A.LIVING WITH A.L.S. IT IS VERY VERY HARD ON EVERYONE. BUT WITH THE HELP WITH PEOPLE LIKE YOU WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO YOU.
WE LOST OUR MOM IN APRIL SHE WAS 89. HEAVEN'S FRIENDS ARE ALL WATCHING YOU FROM AFAR . KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK.
GOD GIVE'S US ONLY WHAT WE CAN HANDLE.
GOD IS GOOD TO GIVE US THE WONDERS OF
LIFE FOR US TO LIVE BY.
BLESSINGS ALWAYS.
BARBARA AND KARAN SLEPSKI

Susie Du Monte
Fri, Aug 07, 2009
Tom, This is so wonderful what you are doing for all ALS Patients. I Lost my husband of 3 yrs.this March. He was my prince Charming that I finally found. He and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

nancy menes
Thu, Jul 30, 2009
i hope you make your goal my husband passed away this past may 6, your right about the year long trips to the doctorthey tols him the same thing my husband barney lasted 5years 9months we were lucky,we do need the money to help find a cure,iam also rasing money on a walkabout every year no goal just what i can get no small amount is wrong i iam going to do the walk in long beach at eldorado park what ever you can get goes towards the other money we have sent maybe you can do the trubite in your mom names they send you folloe up also know the money goes towards als and not mda, thats why its great we have are our own division now and the money goes just to the foundation ,we dont have to share with mda well good luck, you can reach me at redseztop@aol.com for more information if needed

Trish Enright
Thu, Jul 30, 2009
Tom,
You are AWESOME!!! I can't believe you are 50, no wonder you look so good, paddle, paddle, paddle... Joe and I wish you the best of luck, I'm sure your mom and family are very proud of you!

Debbie Barreras
Thu, Jul 30, 2009
Tom, I wish you the best in both races - the Paddleboard Classic and most important the fight against ALS.
My Aunt Lee died from ALS in 1988. From the way you describe your Mom, I think Aunt Lee would really like her - and I'm sure that they are both watching over you from heaven.

Claudia Peltier
Thu, Jul 30, 2009
What a great way to honor your mother and support those with ALS. My sister is fighting this devastating disease and the ALS Association has been such a wonderful resource for her. I am happy to help you attain your goal.

amos holifield
Thu, Jul 30, 2009
I thank you for trying to rase Funds for ALS.There is not enought things going on for this medical need.I will support you!!! My son Steven In Apple Valey Ca. has this deasase And I am tourned apart about this. He is 41 has 2 kids and a beautiful wife.I will give everything I have to support him. I will Make a donation as much as I can for your compleation of this event.
YOU DON"T KNOW WHAT IT"S LIKE UNTILL IT AFFECTS YOUR FAMILY!!!!
ANDY HOLIFIELD

Cariann (Blank) Gheen
Wed, Jul 29, 2009
My dad passed away from ALS in 2005. It was a truly heartbreaking experience. Thank you for making this effort to expand research and knowledge about ALS. My thoughts and prayers will be with you on August 30. Money is on its way.

Andrea Daoutis
Wed, Jul 29, 2009
Hi Tommy ! What a wonderful interview ! I'm so proud of you, and what a blessing you are in the fight for ALS and for your mother and my Thea Peacha! Good luck on your paddle, I'll be pulling for you !! Love, your cousin Andrea

thea mary and theo george
Wed, Jul 29, 2009
Hi tommy
you do such good work in the name of all of our beloved peacha , we hope to get to see you tonight for your interview on the news.
good luck

Gill and Anna Carr
Wed, Jul 29, 2009
We don't know each other, may I consider you my friend. Your efforts deserve recognition. Our check is on the way !!!

Karen Lance
Sat, Jul 25, 2009
I love what you wrote and love what you're doing in your mom's honor. I had a neighbor with ALS and it was just devastating. Thank you for helping!

MCHS class o' 77
Wed, Jul 22, 2009
It's an honor to help support 'Paddling for Peacha' your ongoing love for your mom. Our hearts go out to you & your family. Lori & Art.

Andy Robertson
Wed, Jul 22, 2009
Good on you, Tom! I wanted to prove that someone from the MCHS 1977 Yahoo group has checked out your nice fundraising site. I am very sorry that your mother had to go through ALS. You are doing a terrific good thing in her honor and I wish you all the best. I'll be sending a check.

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