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updated: 10/28/2011 8:33 AM

Barrington's McConnell ALS Foundation Volunteer of Year

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  • Doug McConnell of Barrington in the midst of his conquering of the English Channel Aug. 22 to raise money for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

      Doug McConnell of Barrington in the midst of his conquering of the English Channel Aug. 22 to raise money for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.
    Photo courtesy of Susan McConnell


Barrington's Doug McConnell, who swam the English Channel in August to raise more than $155,000 for research into ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is the Les Turner ALS Foundation's Volunteer of the Year.

The swim, which put McConnell, 53, in the history books as only the 48th person over the age of 50 to successfully complete the famously challenging 21-mile crossing between England and France, came on the same day scientists announced they had identified the common cause of all forms of ALS.

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McConnell not only used the swim to raise money for the foundation, but dedicated his efforts to the memory of his father, David, who'd died of the disease.

Representatives of the foundation will present McConnell with their Volunteer of the Year award at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Marriott Chicago O'Hare, during their annual education meeting and volunteer appreciation reception.

McConnell will speak about the preparations for and execution of his arduous swim at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 at the McHenry County College Conference Center, Building B, at 8900 U.S. Route 14 in Crystal Lake.

Dr. Teepu Siddique and his team of researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who made this year's startling discovery of the cause of ALS, also will be on hand to talk with guests about their ongoing efforts.

Registration for the presentation is free, though donations to "A Long Swim," which benefits the foundation are welcome.

A social hour with refreshments will follow at 3 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, contact the Les Turner ALS Foundation at (847) 679-3311 or visit

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