Participants in the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis begin their trek at Cahoon Park, Saturday morning, during the annual fund raising which is nearing its goal of $20,000 in donations. Students from Roswell Job Corps were on hand to provide valuable assistance. Mark Wilson Photo
Cahoon Park’s grounds provided a welcoming path as the sun delivered perfect weather for the nearly 100 participants who walked, jogged and ran three miles Saturday in the fourth annual Walk for Multiple Sclerosis.
“I think it’s a great cause,” said one participant, Janet Visser, whose aunt died from MS and has two friends who suffer from it. “Hopefully someday they’ll find a cure.”
Those who had finished the walk waited near the Cahoon Pool to greet other teams and applaud as they crossed the finish line.
Representing sponsor Lovelace Regional Hospital manned booths to provide information and talk to attendees about programs and services.
“It’s just the most awesome day,” said first-time entrant Paula McClellan, who was on the team that raised the most money. “I’m happy to support (the cause) and I’m praying for a cure for MS.”
This year’s top fundraising team was Morgan Breedyk’s. Overall, the event was expected to bring in $20,000 to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in New Mexico provide programs, services and education for those affected in the state. The money also helps fund support groups and provide financial assistance and job assistance for those suffering from MS. The national society also assists those affected apply for disability and funds research to help find a cure.
“This is one of the biggest events,” said Maggie Schold, senior manager of development from Albuquerque. “The purpose is to raise awareness of MS and to fund programs and research. Today’s turnout was good.”
Roswell’s walk attracted teams from as far away as Artesia and Dexter.
Sam’s Club raised a substantial amount of money for the cause, Schold said.
Some 2,900 New Mexicans have been diagnosed with MS, according to the National MS Society. The disease hits people in the prime of their lives. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40, Schold said.
“We are also seeing more and more pediatric MS,” Schold said.
For information on local support groups or any other local programs, call an MS Navigator at 1-800-344-4867 and press 1, or visit MSNewMexico.org.
Record Staff Writer