The Hackett Clan is commonly known in Severna Park and in the circle of organizations raising money for research and a cure of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Shonna Hackett and her two children, Colin and Mackenzie, lost their husband and father, , to ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in February after a year-long battle with the disease.
In his honor, the Hackett family and others in the Severna Park community have hosted and participated in fundraisers to raise money for the incurable neuromuscular disease.
One fundraiser in particular that has brought out hundreds of Severna Park youth and families is the Packard Center Fiesta 5K in Baltimore. The Hackett Clan team is prominently featured on their website. The Fiesta 5K benefits the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins.
Each year, the Hackett Clan enters the 5K and is one of the largest teams and contributors to the race, according to a press release. To date, there are 60 signed on to the team—making it the third largest to enter, according to Shonna Hackett.
The Hackett Clan team has raised more than $7,000 to date for the Packard Center, according to the release. Their goal is to reach $20,000 before the 5K on May 5.
Locally, the Hackett's neighbors in Ben Oaks have been steadfast in their support and raised more than $48,000 for ALS at a community bull roast attended by about 400 people, said Shonna Hackett.
"The support has been amazing," she said of her community. "The disease is more prevalent than you think and not tracked by the CDC [Center for Disease Control]."
While the family was coping with Mike Hackett's illness in 2010-11, Colin—a Severna Park High School (SPHS) sophomore lacrosse and varsity soccer player—suffered a severe leg injury in October in a soccer tournament in Virginia Beach. He is still recuperating and has had several surgeries. His fellow team mates and coaches and the entire SPHS community have stood by him throughout the injury by selling bracelets, T-shirts, headbands and hosting ALS fundraisers.
The younger generation at the Severna Park Middle School where Mackenzie is an eighth-grader and Green Hornets have also rallied strongly for the family by raising money for ALS and participating in the annual Fiesta 5K.
To make a donation or to register for the Fiesta 5K, visit: http://support.alscenter.org/site/TR/Runs/2012Fiesta?team_id=3580&pg=team&fr_id=1100
CORRECTION: Mackenzie Hackett's name has been corrected. We regret the error.