LAS VEGAS — The founder of Life Fitness is now facing the biggest challenge of his life — a race against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gherig's disease, an incurable disease that attacks the nerve cells and eventually renders patients paralyzed and unable to speak and breathe. Forty-seven-year-old Augie Nieto was diagnosed with the disease 18 months ago and is now raising awareness and money to fund a cure.

Nieto exercises about an hour each day and has been able to maintain normal mobility. He says he can't go through life thinking that he can't beat his disease.

“I believe there is a cure, and I won't take no for an answer,” he says in a Claremont McKenna College alumni magazine. “This is no different than when I knocked on people's doors and tried to sell them a Lifecycle. I believed they needed it.”

To help Nieto with his quest to cure ALS, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is sponsoring a party March 22 at the Las Vegas Hilton. For $300, IHRSA attendees can buy an individual ticket to Augie's Bash, and for $500, they can get a ticket and VIP security credentials.

The Doobie Brothers will headline the evening's entertainment, and cancer survivor and famed cyclist Lance Armstrong will be a special guest at the event.

Auction prizes include a trip for two to Australia, two tickets to the Indy 500 and a Trek bike signed by Lance Armstrong. Attendees also can bid on a three-night stay at the Four Seasons London and two tickets to an Eric Clapton concert, the chance to play one-on-one with Magic Johnson, and a golf and spa package to the Four Seasons in the Bahamas.

Precor, Life Fitness and Star Trac, which are $50,000 presenting sponsors, will host a pre-party, and Global Fit, Octane Fitness and Kore Balance will sponsor the event. Visit www.AugiesQuest.org to order tickets online.