Yankee great Lou Gehrig, science popularizer Stephen Hawking, innovative occupational therapist and Ridgefield-native Anne Sheehan Doughty — many great and countless, priceless but unheralded lives have been afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Family and friends of the late Anne Sheehan Doughty — Annie Sheehan, RHS class of ’75 — are inviting anyone who’d like to support the cause to a fund-raiser for the ALS Association, Connecticut Chapter, on Thursday, Oct. 4, starting at 6 p.m. in the Ancient Mariner restaurant in Ridgefield.

Although ALS and the lives lost to it — including Annie Sheehan’s in 2013 — are a source of great sadness, the fund-raisers to fight it —this will be the third in honor of Annie Sheehan — are high-spirited and fun, with food and drink shared with friends for the cause of helping people who need it.

There’ll be a silent auction, raffles, and DJ Sean ‘Big Daddy’ McKee will host the evening.

The silent auction items range from heating oil to golf outings to airport limoscene rides. Raffle items include gift certificates from local stores and restaurants.

A progressive, neuromuscular disease, ALS slowly and inevitably steals a person’s ability to do simple things everyone else takes for granted — walking, speaking, swallowing, breathing — and eventually life itself. The average life expectancy of a patient when they’re diagnosed with ALS is two to five years.

The disease can strike people of all races and ethnicities, all socio-economic levels, and at different times of life. There is no known cause and no cure. Every 90 minutes a person in the U.S. is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person loses their battle against the fatal disease.

Caring for a patient with ALS costs their loved ones an average fo $200,000 a year.

Money raised at ALS fund-raiser in memory of Annie Sheehan will go the ALS Association, Connecticut Chapter, and will be used for research as well as the support of patients and their families.

Family and friends of Anne Sheehan will also participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS in Westport on Saturday, Oct. 20, and people who want information about the event or wish to donate may go to alsact.org and look for Westport Walk and then Annie’s Army.