Darren Kramer, Madison, and Renee DiNino, Wethersfield, flank Willington resident Heidi Leetch as she cuts the ribbon at the start of the 2013 Walk MS in Manchester. Kramer, who served as the event’s grand marshal, is an evening news anchor at WTNH News 8. His mother-in-law, Barbara Fratamico, battles multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease. DiNino, director of community affairs for Clear Channel Radio Connecticut, is a long-time partner, raising awareness and promoting National MS Society efforts. Leetch is captain of the Nancy's Never-ending Hope Walk MS fundraising team. This year, Kramer will step out in his hometown, Madison, for the 2014 Walk MS, presented by Travelers. To learn more about Walk MS or to pre-register, please visit ctfightsMS.org. (contributed photo)
FAIRFIELD, CT - Connecticut residents will step out this year from 12 sites across the state for the 2014 Walk MS, presented by Travelers.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents battle the effects of multiple sclerosis. In a show of support, each year thousands of loved ones, friends, neighbors and co-workers lace up and step out at Walk MS in solidarity for a single cause: to create a world free of MS.
In 2013, more than 10,000 participants participated in Walk MS. Team Travelers was the top fundraising team in the state as they raised $61,644. Alec Burger was the top individual fundraiser, raising $49,630. This year, the chapter hopes to raise $1.3 million.
The 2014 Walk MS, presented by Travelers, will be held Saturday, April 5, in Madison and Westport, as well as Sunday, April 6, at 10 more sites across the state.
Sites include Cheshire High School, in Cheshire; Western Connecticut State University, in Danbury; Rentschler Field, in East Hartford; JFK Middle School, in Enfield; the Litchfield Town Green, in Litchfield; Westminster School, in Simsbury; Commons Park at Harbor Point, in Stamford; Camp Harkness, in Waterford; the University of Connecticut, in West Hartford; and West Haven High School, in West Haven.
Each walk site will feature 2.5- and 5-mile fully-accessible routes. Participants will return to a finish-line party with entertainment, activities and lunch provided compliments of Subway restaurants and Coca-Cola.
“The great thing about Walk MS is that even those who are disabled by the illness are able to participate,” said Karen E. Butler, vice president of marketing and public relations for the Connecticut Chapter. “People disabled by MS can organize a team, raise funds and cheer on friends and family as they step out this April.”
For an eighth year, Darren Kramer, WTNH News 8 anchor, will return to serve as grand marshal. News 8 meteorologist Gil Simmons will lead the charge from West Haven.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease. It’s generally diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms can range from numbness in the extremities, to loss of vision and, in severe cases, complete paralysis. The progression, severity and specific symptoms related to MS in any one person cannot be predicted, but advances in research and treatments are providing hope to those affected by the disease. Funds raised at chapter events, such as Walk MS, ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to Connecticut residents affected by MS.
Walk MS community partners include News 8, WUVN/WHTX Univision and WUTH Telefutura and Clear Channel Radio Connecticut, which includes The River 105.9, Country 92.5, KISS 95.7, ESPN 1410 AM, KC 101.3, 960 WELI, and ESPN 1300 AM, 95.9 The FOX, WCTY 97.7 and La Puertorriqueñisima 1120 AM.
To learn more about Walk MS or to pre-register, visit ctfightsMS.org, or call 860-913-2550.