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Personal Amount Raised
Personal fundraising goal: $38,000.00
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It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Matt Chaney, Golden West Chapter Advisory Trustee and dear friend to many, died on November 11, 2022, after a twenty-two-year battle with ALS.
It is an understatement to say that Matt Chaney was a renaissance man, who would describe himself as a people person and problem solver. He loved music, and would often say that his skills were good enough to get others to join in, whether at a campfire, backyard barbecue, or any other kind of gathering. As a dad of two boys, he would joke that he spent a few years touring a preschool/kindergarten circuit, and did a solid impersonation of Bob Dylan singing “This Old Man.”
Matt shared that it was one night while playing guitar at a friend’s party in March 2000, that he first noticed he was unable to grip his guitar pick (and could not blame the tequila). This weakness in his hand muscles proved to be the first symptom, and Matt received a definitive diagnosis of ALS in 2002, when his sons were just nine and six years old.
Matt instinctively faced this new battle head-on, with determination, courage, leadership, unwavering positivity, and humor. Activism was second-nature to him, and Matt once said, “I devote myself to the causes I care about, because helping others helps me.” Matt and his wife of 34 years, Liz, committed themselves to helping others in the ALS community. They were foundational supporters of the Golden West Chapter, beginning their involvement in 2002 by participating in all seven Northern California Walk to Defeat ALS events, the Drive for a Cure ProAM Golf Tournament, and every Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS and Walk since its inception.
Given his diverse interests, Matt dedicated himself to many local and national ALS awareness efforts like Major League Baseball’s “4ALS” initiative with the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s; the "Be a Hero at Tax Time" ALS awareness campaign, which raised over $600,000 for ALS research; as well as many community efforts including the Lafayette Little League “Runs for ALS” program. Matt served as a Chapter Board Member from 2012- 2016 and then began his service as an Advisory Trustee.
He was a longtime volunteer for the Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS planning committee, and served as Co-Chair for many years and was an Honorary Co-Chair every year after. His team, Hot Dawg, has raised more than $800,000 in the 18 years they have participated in the Napa Valley Ride and Walk.
Matt never shied away from a challenge, whether it was helping to create a million dollar event for the first time in Golden West Chapter history, or coming up with new and interesting ways to engage participants to raise more. Matt, his wife, Liz, and his entire extended family and circle of support, were always first to step up and do whatever they could for this community.
Matt was a tremendous human being who contributed so greatly to everyone affiliated with the Golden West Chapter, whether they knew Matt or not, and that will continue to be the case long into the future. His insights as a powerful spokesperson for the organization's mission, his tenacity as he lived with ALS, and the personal gift of his time and many talents in service to the ALS community will forever be deeply appreciated by the Golden West Chapter and his community.