Kerry & Gary Challenge to Defeat ALS kicks off for second year

The duo is raising money to find a cure for the disease, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s Disease
The duo is raising money to find a cure for the disease.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 1:17 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Former Auburn basketball player, Gary Godfrey, and former Alabama running back, Kerry Goode, kicked off their second annual “Kerry & Gary Challenge to Defeat ALS” with a press conference at the Alabama Capitol Thursday.

Gov. Kay Ivey joined the two as they discussed Godfrey’s and Goode’s goals for 2023′s challenge leading up to the Iron Bowl. Ivey and former Alabama Finance Director Kelly Butler, who retired from his position this year due to his own battle with ALS, both spoke at the event.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, the progressive nervous system disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control. It often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb, or slurred speech, and eventually affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. There is no cure, yet.

“I am proud to join the Kerry and Gary Challenge to Defeat ALS, an incredible initiative that utilizes the spirit of the Iron Bowl to support those who are battling this devastating disease,” said Ivey. “As Alabamians are gearing up for the fierce football rivalry that has defined our state for generations, I encourage all to join this challenge. Many families across our state are impacted by ALS, and it is certainly a cause worth fighting for.”

In partnership with the ALS Association, this year’s challenge hopes to be even more successful than the last. Rallying fans from both universities, the challenge aims to use fierce rivalry and friendly competition to raise their goal of $250,000 for Alabama families impacted by ALS.

The duo hopes to achieve higher donations this year by partnering with prominent figures in the Auburn and Alabama sports rivalry, including Charles Barkley, Cornelius Bennett, Bruce Pearl, Nick Saban, and more.

“This fundraising challenge provides vital support to ALS families because limited insurance coverage means patients’ families often cover up to $250,000 in annual medical costs out-of-pocket,” said Godfrey, “We not only want to raise funds for ALS, but we also want Auburn to prevail again against Alabama in the Kerry & Gary Challenge. Everyone I talk with says, ‘I’m with Gary! (#ImWithGary).’”

Goode added, “As I face the loss of my voice, I stress the need to amplify the voices of all ALS patients and their families through the Kerry & Gary Challenge. Your support makes a real difference for those saddled with the enormous cost of living with this disease. Bama Nation, grab your friends and declare #ImWithKerry, and join Cornelius Bennett and me in defeating Charles Barkley and Gary Godfrey this year. Let’s Roll Tide together!”

For more information on the challenge and how to support the cause, visit

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