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Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

Former teammate honors Bob Allison's legacy—and creates his own—with gift

Jim Schindler met Bob Allison on the baseball field. They played together in the minor leagues in the mid ’50s‚ and their personalities clicked off the field as well. Schindler left baseball a few years later while Allison went on to play in the majors‚ but the two stayed good friends.

Their friendship matured throughout the following decades‚ until Allison died of complications from ataxia in 1995. Schindler remained a family friend to Betty Allison and sons.

Jim Schindler and Bob Allison at the 1985 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Just last year‚ Schindler knew he was facing the end of his own life and began thinking seriously about how to make his mark on the world. At the Bob Allison Ataxia Golf Classic in August‚ an emotional Schindler announced that he would give $1 million to the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center’s important work in support of ataxia research at the University of Minnesota.

Because of his personal commitment to the Allison family‚ Schindler asked the BAARC board to use his gift for its top priority: a chair in translational research. This position will be given to an outstanding faculty member who will research ataxia and other neurodegenerative diseases‚ with an ultimate goal of translating breakthroughs in the lab to new treatments—or even cures—for patients.

Schindler passed away in February and left more than $1 million to BAARC in his estate. But $2 million is required to fully fund the chair‚ named the James Schindler and Bob Allison Ataxia Chair in Translational Research.

“Jim once told me that he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives‚” says Mark Allison‚ Bob Allison’s oldest son and chair of the BAARC board. “We need to be able to recruit and retain researchers who are top-notch in the field of ataxia‚ and Jim’s gift makes that possible. Without the talented researchers here‚ we couldn’t keep making strides toward a cure.”

The chair is getting closer to being fully funded‚ but it still needs additional contributions to make it a reality. To contribute to the chair‚ please contact Kimberley Spear‚ director of development for BAARC‚ at 612-624-4429 or k.spear@mmf.umn.edu.

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