Tag Archives: Chuck Haberstroh

MLB’s Lou Gehrig Day: The Local Connection

June 4 marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Lou Gehrig. The legendary New York Yankees’ 1st baseman — “The Iron Horse” — died 17 days before his 38th birthday, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The disease now bears his name.

This June 2, all 30 Major League Baseball teams will inaugurate an annual tribute to Gehrig, and recognize the fatal illness. All players and managers will wear a patch with his #4. “4-ALS” logos will be displayed around stadiums.

MLB will use the occasion to raise money and awareness to battle the disease, and pay homage to advocacy groups like the LG4Day committee.

That group was responsible for the league-wide initiative. Co-chair of the committee was Chuck Haberstroh, the former Staples High School basketball star whose mother Patty is afflicted with ALS.

Well-known to Westporters through many activities, including her work with the Department of Human Services, Patty was diagnosed in 2017. She has inspired her family — and many others throughout town — since then.

Haberstroh, songwriter Bryan Wayne Galentine — who was also diagnosed with ALS in 2017 — and Adam Wilson spent 2 years persuading MLB to honor Gehrig with a day, as it does Black pioneer Jackie Robinson and Puerto Rican humanitarian Roberto Clemente.

Hall of Fame statues (from left): Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente.

Various teams held their own ALS Awareness Days, but Haberstroh and his group wanted more. They had to convince all 30 clubs to sign on. The breakthrough came in October, when the presidents of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins agreed to email the presidents of nearly 2 dozen teams that had not yet pledged support.

Within minutes, it was done. Sadly, Galentine died 2 days later.

Patty Haberstroh

That galvanized Haberstroh to work even harder to raise ALS awareness — along with funds to find cures and treatments. The family has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through the #ALSPepperChallenge.

“Lou Gehrig Day will increase awareness of ALS year after year,” Haberstroh says.

“And it will give hope to those with little today — somethin Mom has always cared about as a social worker in town.

“Someone diagnosed today receives the same prognosis — 100% fatal — as Lou got over 80 years ago. That’s unacceptable.”

Word has just gotten out about the June 2 4-ALS Day. The nation will hear more about it in the months ahead.

For Chuck Haberstroh and his family, that makes every team a winner.

Click below for an ESPN SportsCenter highlight, featuring brothers Chuck and Steve Haberstroh:

Haberstrohs Help ALS Take Over Times Square

Two years ago, Patty Haberstroh was diagnosed with ALS.

She did not take the news lying down.

Neither did her family.

Together they embarked on the #ALSPepperChallenge. Across the country, people — from national celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Dan Le Batard to local ones like the Staples High School principal and first selectman — ate habaneros and jalapeños, raising nearly a million dollars to fight what is also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

In addition, 2 of Patty’s sons — Chuck and Steve — joined the IAmALS advisory board.

This morning, they rose early. With their friends — current and former Westporters Chris Aitkin, Matt Cook, Ben Erwin, Chris Kenyon, Steve O’Dell, Stacy Rosenthal and Raffi Tokatlian — they joined 150 others as IAmALS “took over” nearly a dozen billboards in Times Square.

Steve and Chuck Haberstroh, helping change the world for their mom.

Their messages brought attention to the fight — and spread the message that ALS research can also unlock critical breakthroughs for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

Some of the messages were hopeful. Some were educational. Some were defiant.

All are crucial.

Bad weather kept Patty Haberstroh from attending the Times Square event this morning. Her husband — Parks & Recreation Commission chair Charlie Haberstroh — and daughter Kim watched the livestream at home. So did their son Tom, in Charlotte, North Carolina with his family.

House Hunting With Haberstroh And Horelik

The Haberstroh family is well known in Westport — Charlie’s on the Board of the Finance, Patty does yeowoman’s work for Human Services, and they and their kids were long involved in town athletics.

The Horeliks are well known too — think sports and Dunville’s.

Now, the entire world will know that Chuck Haberstroh and Jacque Horelik bought a house together.  Before they got married.

The ins and outs of both long journeys — home-buying and proposal-engagement-marriage — form the centerpiece of a feature story appearing in the  Real Estate section of tomorrow’s New York Times. Apparently, Chuck and Jacque are on the cutting edge of a new trend.  In Times-talk, that means:

Two distinct forms of desire — the carnal type and the kind that involves granite countertops — have been known to intermingle, but perhaps never more so than now.

Chuck Haberstroh, Jacque Horelik and their new home (Photo courtesy of Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times)

Writer Hilary  Stout describes how the couple met by chance at Lehigh, where Chuck was a student.  Later, in Westport, they “went on a date to a cool pub and restaurant.  Things were a bit on and off for a while, but then they began to get serious.”

Soon they were living next door to each other in Norwalk.  Not long after, “she ditched her room and moved in with him.”  Then — ka-ching! — they “signed a lease on a small apartment of their own.”

This being the Times Real Estate section, where the twin voyeur hobbies of homes and personal lives meet — er, intermingle — we learn more about the young lovers/house hunters:

He was in his late 20s, she was two years younger.  They had been together for two years.  They made each other laugh, they liked each other’s friends, they loved each other’s company.  And so they knew — as everyone seemed to be telling them — that it was time.

To buy real estate.

According to Stout:

The peculiarities of the housing market today are leading more couples to ponder the question, “Should we buy?” before they settle the question, “Should we commit?”

With the market beginning to favor buyers, on October 30 Chuck and Jacque closed on a “three-bedroom Cape Cod-style cottage  in Fairfield, Conn., with hardwood floors, a front porch and a back deck on a pretty corner lot.  They got it for $430,000, $29,000 less than the asking price.”

Jacque — a 28-year-old special education teacher — said she was “itching to get engaged before we bought the house.”  Chuck — a 30-year-old vice president of CastleKeep Investment Advisors in Westport — “definitely felt the pressure from me and both of our families.”

But prices and rates were dropping; the time was right.  Rings, dresses and seating charts could take a back seat to mortgage applications, home inspections and moving vans.

In good Times fashion, after a detour to explore the home-buying processes of 2 other unwed couples, the story circles back to Our Heroes:

And for Mr. Haberstroh and Ms. Horelik, both the real estate and the relationship have now fallen into place, to the delight of Ms. Horelik’s family, who are of the wedding-before-house school.

The first night they slept in their new home, they got engaged.  They are hoping for a late-summer 2010 wedding, but have not set the date.

“Between moving in and outfitting the house,” Mr. Haberstroh said, “we’ve had a hard time finding time to really make progress on that front.”

Let’s hope their parents knew that already, and won’t just read it — along with the rest of the country — in tomorrow’s New York Times.