The fundraiser is the brainchild of Chris Beutler, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in fall of 2019. ALS, a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function, is better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is fatal and there is no cure, but Beutler is committed to raising awareness and fighting for proactive solutions for families living with ALS. Beutler’s progress has been slow by many standards, though he uses a cane and a NIV (non-invasive ventilator). He is cared for by his wife, Laura, and their two teenage daughters.
Prior to diagnosis, 54-year-old Beutler was a musician, avid cyclist, and advertising executive. He was a bass player in a local new wave 80’s band, Bangah, and has remained active in the local music scene ever since. A Maryland native, Beutler is reaching out to local musical artists in hopes of bringing them all together in a compassionate manner to serve the ALS community of Maryland. His vision is to use the platform of music and the arts to support this community that is currently underfunded and underserved.
To honor the Beutler Family's commitment to paying-it-forward, the "Chris Beutler ALS Band Bash" has named the Brigance Brigade Foundation (BBF) as the beneficiary of event proceeds. Several months ago, Beutler received a grant from the BBF to cover costs for home modifications due to his disability. The Maryland-based nonprofit organization was founded by Champion Ravens football player, OJ Brigance and his wife Chanda, after his own diagnosis in 2008. BBF's mission is to equip, encourage, and empower people living with ALS through direct financial support, increasing access to equipment not covered by insurance, and programs geared to support the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of families impacted by this disease.All Ages