Rock Out ALS first started in 2008 when Anne Vanderschoot Dunn, the mother of it’s Founder, Michael Mad Mike Miller was diagnosed with ALS. Music was their common language. Mrs. Dunn was a 'Rocker' and took Miller to his first concerts as well as exposed him to FM Radio in the seventies before there were specific programing formats being followed. With Dunn in the San Francisco Bay Area and Miller in the Seattle Area, Miller felt like he had to do something to help.
In September of 2008 Miller held 'Smoke Out ALS', a BBQ Party with live music and children’s games to raise money for his first 'Walk to Defeat ALS'. He asked 3 bands to play as well as his buddy Joe Marino to do a Neal Diamond Impersonation set. His good friend Tommy 'Bahama' Dowd who owned a large property with huge deck donated his property to be the venue. He borrowed a large trailer smoke pit from a local BBQ Restaurant and cooked brisket, chicken, beans, salad and
slaw for 500. He invited 1000. Seattle in September is 'risky'. It Rained. Smoke Out ALS saw 75. Those 75 ate, drank and partied like KINGS. Even with expenses. Smoke Out ALS raised $1500.00 through amazingly generous donations and Miller attended his Walk to Defeat ALS with 4 people.
In the summer of 2009, the Walk was scheduled for late September again. Remembering the rain and the 72 hours of cooking, Miller decided to take those to elements out of the equation and opted to bring an indoor event. Having built a small name for himself in the Seattle Music Scene as a band manager, he called upon 12 bands to play an all day event. He called it 'Rock Out ALS'. Having never promoted a show, he mixed many genres of music. It was a beautiful day and this show saw 75 people over 13 hours. It was the best show no one ever saw. This show raised $1500.00 mostly through a guitar that was signed by all band members and raffled off and won by Joe Erickson, father of then 30 year old ALS Patient Melissa Erickson. But he saw something. He saw where he missed an opportunity to educate the crowd that did attend. He received great praise from the musicians. Rock Out ALS was born and planning began for several shows in 2010.
2010 brought on an actual 'Program'. Six 3-5 band lineups, Informative videos playing before and after music sets, printed literature to take home, a guest speaker whenever possible and Miller telling his story as well as simulating the progression
of ALS on stage. 3 shows in May (ALS Awareness Month): PUNKrock Out ALS / Rock-abilly Out ALS / Rock Out ALS thus reaching an even broader audience and Woodinville Rock’s Out ALS where Miller could attract his neighbors and book underage bands and reach a younger, ambitious audience. Miller started seeing the ability of duplicating the program and began thinking of starting a charity and bringing Rock Out ALS nationwide. 2010 was when Leilani Boyle, Floyd Murrill and Brandy Foltz were exposed to Rock Out ALS and are now on the Board of Directors.
2 years of 6+ shows a year while also participating in 3-4 third party events proved to be too much and in 2012 the program was condensed to one event a year with improved local TV and radio support.
Rock Out ALS took a year off in 2013 to make it’s first attempt at getting organized recruiting a board of directors and applying for it’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable status.
Rock Out ALS came back in 2014 with one show…..but this time in the summer with 'Rock Out ALS FEST', an outdoor rock festival with speakers, videos, literature, ROALS merchandise, Ice Bucket Challenge and an Ales for ALS beer available. This attracted a committed board of directors.
2016 was a BIG Year for Rock Out ALS. Board of Directors recruited, 501c3 application submitted, TV/Radio/Magazine interviews, and the biggest Rock Out ALS Fest production ever and their first Ales for ALS Brewfest.
In 2017, Rock Out ALS received 501(c)(3) status. One of their bigger events will be an auction in the fall, with all proceeds going to fund ALS awareness and prevention. This auction will include highly collectable Rock Memorabilia from many well known Rock artists. The The Rock Out ALS Board of Directors are committed to continuing the legacy that Mad Miller originally began for his mother, by raising ALS awareness and research funding through the Rock world... Fighting Lou Gehrig's disease one riff at a time!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
NEIL A. LIM SANG
Michael has been in Hospitality all of his life and Entertainment for over 10 years. He has been an ALS Advocate since 2008 after his mother was diagnosed. Michael started using the name Rock Out ALS in 2009 to describe all of his ALS activity and everything snowballed from there.
Bob has been practicing law for 25+ years and has been involved for 12+ years in team Seattle, a Seattle Children’s Hospital charity, which raised over $5M to pay for a new cardiac heart wing for the hospital. Bob has known the Rock Out ALS founder Mike Miller for years, and has a very good friend recently diagnosed with ALS. Bob is originally from Southern CA, and now lives in Woodinville WA with his wife, and has two adult children.
Stephanie was diagnosed with ALS in early 2011. She is an active volunteer and advocate for ALS educational and fundraising Events.
Leilani has 15+ years in the finance industry and has been active participant in fundraising for many years., and is a huge supporter of the local music scene, being the lead singer of a 80’s pop cover band (The Pop Roxx). She has been an active participant in fundraisers for NW Harvest, PAWS, and the Seattle Goodwill, along with Rock Out ALS. She is originally from Las Vegas and now lives in Bothell WA.
Floyd is a music industry veteran working as a Sound Tech, Roadie and Singer, with Metallica, Alice in Chains, THE Crying Spell and Steel Rose. He discovered Rock Out ALS in 2008 not long after his best friend Melvin Riel was diagnosed with ALS, who sadly passed away in 2010 leaving behind a wife and two children. He is dedicated to helping every family affected by ALS.
Neil A. Lim Sang
Neil is a veteran touring rock photographer (and digital animation guru), who is well known and respected in the music scene. His father was diagnosed with ALS in 1977, and passed away in 1985, when Neil was just 16 years old. He is extremely dedicated to raising ALS awareness and funding for ALS research.