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'He’s pretty awesome': R.M. Moore rallying behind teacher diagnosed with ALS

Students and staff have organized their own Walk to End ALS event in support of Grade 2 teacher George Gomes; 'We’ll have a full house out there,' principal says

With the national Walk to End ALS taking place this Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie, R.M. Moore Public School students, staff and teachers have organized their own Walk to End ALS event in support of a member of their school family.

R.M. Moore Grade 2 teacher George Gomes was recently diagnosed with ALS.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a neurological disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement used for walking, talking and chewing.

“Our school community started finding out, and because the national Walk to End ALS is having its walk in Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday, we thought let’s do our own at the school in honour of that,” said Michelle Clement, R.M. Moore principal speaking to SooToday. 

The school walk will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday with students, staff and teachers walking around the school’s perimeter and playing games.

The R.M. Moore school community includes approximately 280 students and 25 staff.

“We’ll have a full house out there,” Clement said.

“We’re going to make it a fun, positive experience as a show of support for one of our own. All the classes will be out. We’ll have some music going. The PTA has generously donated cups of ice cream from Elliott's Ice Cream.”

“George’s wife started a team called ‘Go Gomes Go’ for the national Walk to End ALS and so we joined the team and all the proceeds go to ALS research,” Clement said.

Nine individuals have been raising funds for ‘Go Gomes Go’ and the R.M. Moore Mustangs for Go Gomes Go had raised $1,232.94 as of Tuesday afternoon.

R.M. Moore students, staff and teachers will be in the national Walk to End ALS beginning at the Roberta Bondar Park on Sunday. Registration time is 9 a.m. The walk starts at 10 a.m. 

ALS Canada Walk to End ALS fundraising walks are being held in various communities this month.

“George is a great guy,” Clement said.

“One day a lady called our school and wanted to stop by and drop off a card for George. She had a fall in the Metro parking lot and George was there. He couldn’t lift her up because he didn’t have the strength in his arms but he checked her over and followed her home and made sure he had a neighbour who could watch her. She was so appreciative of his kindness that she took the time to drive all the way out here to the school and give me a little card and tell me how wonderful Mr. Gomes was. That’s just the kind of guy he is. He’s pretty awesome.”

Click here for more information on the national Walk to End ALS and the school’s Go Gomes Go fundraising efforts.

“George is being an upbeat guy, keeping a positive attitude,” Clement said.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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