Phillies’ top farm club announces funeral winner

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies’ top farm club on Tuesday offered a free funeral to an eastern Pennsylvania fan recently diagnosed with ALS.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs announced the winner of its funeral giveaway during a home game at Coca-Cola Park.

Steve Paul, 64, of Freemansburg got a standing ovation as he was wheeled onto the field and announced as the recipient of a funeral package valued at nearly $10,000.

Fans had to submit a 200-word essay describing their ideal funeral, and explain why they deserved a free one. More than 50 essays were submitted.

Paul wrote an essay explaining that he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in June. ALS is a progressive nerve disease that typically leads to paralysis and death.

“The disease is racing, as my family must watch the strength, energy and life quickly drain from my body,” he wrote. “No one was prepared, emotionally or financially, for the loss or to prepare a final memorial.”

He said he asked for the funeral package to help comfort his family “and take one major concern from their minds.” His funeral “should not be morbid or sad, but a gathering to enjoy and celebrate life and family I dearly loved,” he wrote.

The team came up with the unusual promotion for one of its sponsors, a nearby funeral home.

The funeral package comes with a casket, embalming or cremation, hearse, headstone, flowers and a funeral or memorial service.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s