News & Stories

June Volunteer of the Month: Laura Kennedy

Some people volunteer for the ALS cause because they want to give back after receiving care. Some volunteer because they have witnessed the great need for increased research. The Chapter’s June 2023 Volunteer of the Month Laura Kennedy volunteers because she wanted to make the biggest impact for others that she could.

Laura Kennedy has worked at Belco Community Credit Union for over 4 years and banking for 18. She also worked in the human services field with mentally and physically disabled individuals for 15 years. Throughout her professional career, she has seen how a little bit of help can mean the world to someone. From working with individuals and families in Central PA, Laura could always feel a strong sense of pride and satisfaction in helping her community.

When Laura was looking for ways to get involved in worthy causes in her area, she reached out to Donna Cleary with the Greater Philadelphia Chapter and learned about the robust services available for people with ALS and the many local events, particularly the Walk to Defeat ALS Hershey. It was clear from the start that if Laura raised money and awareness for ALS in the Harrisburg area, people in her local community would directly benefit.

From the moment she connected with the Chapter, Laura saw possibilities for partnerships. In 2017, she organized a local event and arranged for Capital Blue Cross to donate a location and catering so that she could introduce the Chapter to key business leaders in the Harrisburg area. Laura made critical connections with companies like iHeartMedia, Inc., Commonwealth Printing and Promotions, and local media outlets to raise awareness of ALS and the many services available to families.

After co-founding the new Harrisburg/Hershey ALS group, Laura sought other promising opportunities. She worked with her friends in the media to advertise events like the Walk to Defeat ALS and she arranged an ALS Awareness Night with the local Senators baseball team.

Most recently, Laura has worked with contacts that were able to connect with Penn State to promote the Walk to Defeat ALS with their student athletes.

The ALS cause is now personal to Laura. She has built friendships with other volunteers and with Chapter staff like Donna Cleary and Michelle Rogers, who depend on Laura to amplify the ALS mission in central Pennsylvania. As she talks with more business leaders in her area, Laura has learned that many of them have lost someone to ALS, which serves to motivate her to do more to improve quality care and research.

Laura’s volunteer spirit extends throughout her family. She has been married for 30 years and has two grown daughters who join her to volunteer at many local organizations. Her eldest daughter is a survivor of ovarian cancer, so Laura gives her time to the Teal Blanket Fund. She also serves on the board with PA Crime Stoppers and she helps on committees with the Whitaker Center of Harrisburg.

Every year, Laura has the opportunity to use her talents, energy, and connections to improve the lives of people in her community. The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter is grateful to Laura for continuing to choose to give her time to support the ALS cause in so many ways. Thank you Laura for all that you do to benefit ALS families.

Share This Page: