A new award named in honor of the late Broadway favorite Rebecca Luker will celebrate heroes in the fight against ALS. The Target ALS Rebecca Luker Courage Award will spotlight individuals who have demonstrated a courageous spirit and made a positive impact on the ALS community over the past year. The award, funded by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America and Target ALS, will accept nominations now through September 30.
In addition to the main Courage Award, there also will be an Unsung Hero category and up to three Awards of Recognition. A five-person selection committee, made up of members of the Broadway and ALS community, will review nominations and make a decision based on several criteria, including innovation, collaboration, impact, and reach.
“Rebecca did everything she could while she was with us to raise awareness of ALS and funds for a cure,” said Danny Burstein, Luker’s husband and current Tony nominee for Moulin Rouge!. “While we are heartbroken that the proper therapies and a cure weren’t discovered in time for Rebecca, knowing her legacy of advocacy will be honored this way brings great solace to our family."
Luker, the three-time Tony-nominated performer, died from complications with ALS at the age of 59 in December 2020. To honor her life and legacy, Target ALS presented Becca in May 2021, a musical tribute to benefit ALS research, with support from MTPA. The concert raised $150,000 for ALS research.
“We have dedicated ourselves to a singular focus—helping patients,” said Atsushi Fujimoto, president of MTPA. “While we strive for the advancement of ALS research and treatment, we are stronger when fighting together with our advocacy partners and many members of the ALS community.”
“Because Rebecca’s story and courageous spirit resonates with so many, we, together with MTPA, were inspired to celebrate individuals making a difference in the fight against ALS,” added Manish Raisinghani, MBBS, Ph.D., CEO of Target ALS.
Winners will be announced later in the fall. To nominate an individual or learn more, visit TargetALS.org.