CPA firm conducts fundraiser to honor former leader

CPA firm conducts fundraiser to honor former leader
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Tim McDaniel, a former principal and director of valuation and transaction advisory services at Rea & Associates, lost his battle with ALS in early 2020.

                        

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, does not discriminate. In the United States of America, it affects around 30,000 with around 6,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, “It occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries,” and while most people who develop ALS are age 40-70, the disease also impacts those who are younger. Tim McDaniel, a Wooster native and a principal and director of valuation and transaction advisory services at Rea & Associates, was just 59 when he lost his fight with ALS.

“An unexpected event can come out of nowhere. I was in the best shape of my life, getting married to the most kind and wonderful woman in the world, and refocused my career on doing what I loved. Life had never been better,” McDaniel said in an entry on his online journal on Feb. 25, 2019. “As I worked with doctors to uncover the cause of my symptoms, ALS was the disease I was most afraid of. I wouldn’t read about ALS or investigate whether it was causing my issues because I was so afraid of it.”

This year the COVID-19 crisis changed the way local chapters of the ALS Association conducted their annual fundraiser while also making it difficult for Rea & Associates team members to participate in a way that would allow the firm to properly honor McDaniel’s legacy. So to provide the firm’s 350 employees with the outlet they were searching for, Hannah Hunter, a senior associate in Rea’s Dublin office, stepped up to organize and coordinate a firm-wide Walk to End ALS, where each office could walk, raise funds and remember McDaniel while participating in a friendly competition that encouraged employees in each Rea office to raise the most money for their chosen nonprofit ALS organization.

Rea & Associates’ first Walk to End ALS took place Friday, Oct. 30. Employees in nearly every office walked to help raise awareness of the disease and the need for a cure.

Through their efforts they were able to collect more than $8,200. As an additional incentive, The Rea Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the firm, pledged an additional $1,000, which was distributed to the three offices that raised the most funds.

The top fundraiser, the firm’s Zanesville office, received an additional $500 to donate to their chosen ALS organization. The office with the second-highest funds, Rea’s Cambridge office, collected an additional $300. The office with the third-highest funds, Rea & Associates’ Amherst office, collected an additional $200. In total $9,290 was collected and donated to organizations committed to finding a cure for ALS including the ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter and I Am ALS.

Some offices took their efforts to the next level and got the community involved. Teams encouraged the local community to donate and, as an incentive, conducted an event where local celebrities and office principals had pies thrown at them. In Rea’s Dublin office, team members conducted contests and served lunch for donations. Pictures from the day’s events across the firm can be found on the firm’s Facebook page.

“We raised a lot of money as a firm that will no doubt help the battle to defeat ALS,” Hunter said. “Tim is definitely smiling up above and is proud of Rea.”

To help Rea & Associates honor McDaniel’s memory and find a cure for ALS, consider making a donation to an ALS nonprofit organization.


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