Lainey's Legacy Walks for ALS on Sunday

Fundraiser is in memory of former SOPL Children's Librarian and community fixture Elaine Marlowe, who died of the disease.

The local fundraiser is over, but the walk is tomorrow, and the work continues to defeat ALS. Read more below to cheer on the local team!


In 1980, Elaine K. Marlowe was a wife, mother to ten children and the beloved Children's Librarian at the when she was diagnosed with ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. After a brave battle, Mrs. Marlowe died from the disease in 1983.

Often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. There is no known cause and no cure, and it costs an average of $200,000 a year to provide the care ALS patients need.

On Saturday, May 19, will host the second annual "Rock to Defeat ALS," a fundraiser in memory of Mrs. Marlowe, who also was active with Our Lady of Sorrows church, an actress in community theater and a cub scout den mother.  

"My mother was a very fascinating character," said Meg Marlowe, her daughter. While she was doing all of this, she was raising ten children, all of whom attended South Orange Maplewood Schools. She was loved by so many in this town. When she could no longer speak, the children in the library raised money to purchase her one of the first computers with speech capabilities (like Steven Hawking has). The love the town had for my Mother was reciprocated, of course!" 

The event, which will run from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., will precede the Walk to Defeat ALS in Saddle Brook on June 3, in which Marlowe is participating with her family and friends. Their team is called Lainey's Legacy, after Mrs. Marlowe's nickname. Check the website here

Last year's Rock to Defeat ALS raised over $2,500, and the Lainey's Legacy walking team raised over $8,000. 

The event will feature music by The Local Band, along with a silent auction and door prizes. South Orange resident Ileana Castillo is coordinating the auction. "Ileana has galvanized the community once again for this worthy cause and has many items already," said Marlowe. Just some of the fabulous auction items include Kickboxing/Karate Certificates from Maplewood Karate & Kickboxing, a gift set of Defcon Sauces, a photography matted print by Joy Yagid Photography, dinner for two at Bunny's, a gift basket from Other Mothers, and a free consultation from Closets by Design. 

Bunny's owner Leslie Pogany has been a driving force behind the fundraiser. "Leslie loved my parents and loves their kids, and she is the type who would do anything to help someone in need," said Marlowe. "She always goes above and beyond, and this year is no exception."

Meg Marlowe and her three sisters still live in South Orange. The family's eldest brother, Dr. Thomas Marlowe, is a professor at Seton Hall, and sister Tina works for Feinberg & Feinberg in the village. 

How can you help? There are several ways.  Donate to Meg's team. Join the team as a walker, or a "virtual" walker. Or attend the fundraiser at Bunny's (see the PDF attached to this article for more information.) You can also read more about Elaine Marlowe in this blog written by her daughter, Meg.


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