The Yonkers man who co-founded the Ice Bucket Challenge will be remembered Saturday in the city where he bravely battled ALS and advanced the fight to find a cure.
Pat Quinn, 37, passed away on Sunday morning after a seven-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
He was a motivational speaker and an avid sports fan. The Yonkers Police Department appointed Quinn an honorary police officer on Sept. 28, 2019.
His funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Saint John the Baptist Church, 670 Yonkers Ave., at 10 a.m.
Between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Yonkers Avenue will be closed to commercial vehicles between Central Park and Midland avenues, Dunwoodie Street and Belmont Avenue, Sweetfield Circle to Yonkers Avenue and Hayward Street to Yonkers Avenue.
Pat Quinn, 33, of Yonkers was one of the key people to make the Ice Bucket Challenge go viral two years ago. Quinn, photographed at home Aug. 5, 2016, was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2013. A photo of Gehrig hangs behind him in his apartment. (Photo: Seth Harrison/The Journal News)
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Quinn grew up in Yonkers and attended Iona Prep. Afterwards, he graduated in 2006 from Iona College, where he played rugby. The school inducted him into its rugby hall of fame and awarded him with the first-ever Pat Quinn Courage Award in 2019.
Pat Quinn getting honorary appointment to Yonkers Police Department by commissioner John Mueller. (Photo: Donna Davis/Ms. Davis Photography)
Although Quinn was mostly known for his advocacy for ALS awareness, he also gave talks at schools and events in Westchester County, as well as across the country.
And while Quinn exuded toughness and, at times, stubbornness, his friends describe him as a gentle person who was dedicated to his family.
He was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. The Ice Bucket Challenge first took social media by storm in summer 2014. After it stopped being a viral sensation, Quinn remained committed to the fight against ALS and started the Quinn for the Win foundation, which dons the colors of one of his favorite teams, the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The disease, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control. There is no cure for the fatal disease.
Yonkers police ask drivers to seek alternate routes and avoid the area around Quinn’s funeral on Saturday morning. Officers will be at the intersections to direct traffic.
Ryan Santistevan is the breaking news reporter for the Poughkeepsie Journal, Journal News and Times Herald-Record. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org; 845-437-4809 or follow her on Twitter, @NewsByRyan_. Follow Eugene Rapay on Twitter at @erapay5.
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