Sunday, April 20, 2008

Greeting and News

Thank you all for donating to Glen and me in this year’s MS Walk! Your support in this event is important to many people in the NW. The money raised is used to help with different programs like the yoga classes, water exercise classes, cooling vests or hand controls in the car, prescription medical expenses, scholarships for college, Kid's camp for kids when a parent has MS, and research for a cure. I know a cure is just around the corner.

We had a beautiful spring day! The temperature was in the mid 70's under clear blue skies with a light breeze, to keep the walkers cool. It was perfect! Could it have been because I told everyone it was going to snow? Glen says, “It’s the tent”.

DJ’s Doug and Denise Daniels from MIX 105.3 at KONA radio station had lots of great music for us to get the morning moving and start the walk (plus they brought the chocolate Spudnut donuts as promised!). Denise has some snapshots posted on the MIX 105.3 website from her scrapbook if you want to see for yourself. The Tri-City Court Club (Teri Lynn Nelson and crew) led the stretching exercises; Debbi Shea (our honoree) spoke, and we were off. I was sporting my new walking stick! Glen and I were near the back of the crowd as the walk started. If you could have only seen the walkers! There were all modes of transportation-some were running, walking, Mom's with strollers, kids with bikes, scooters, and wheelchairs. The path along the river was lined with friends and family joined together by the need to do something about MS. The one thing everyone had in common was a smile and friendly wave.

We strolled along the river chatting with different folks. I got a chance to talk to Sen. Jerome Delvin about some of the issues – research and life sciences being a couple of them. He was walking with my friend Jaime Hagarty’s Team MMSJ. The river was calm, people laughing, talking and just having a great time enjoying the walk.

These simple movements we sometimes take for granted can mean everything to a person with MS. Because MS can stop the movement in your leg, arm, hand, speech, or any part of your body, life should be celebrated and enjoyed. This too, showed on the walkers’ faces around me.

As the walkers stop for breaks under the shade trees of Columbia Park, water and snacks were handed out by many different volunteers. Our thanks to the many who gave their time and effort to make the walk possible, and we hope to see you all again next year! Before long, Glen and I headed back to our wonderful team tent (Nita’s Friends), and had snacks and lunch (prepared by the NMSS). Meriel Miller, from the Court Club, decorated the tent with star balloons and many colored punch balls. In fact, I still have one of the punch balls. It was great!

You know when someone says, that they know a band that might play for us at the walk, “They play some kind of jazz, I think”. Heads nod, eyes roll, and you think, “Sure, why not?”. Well Romagossa Blu (the band) was great!. They opened for B.B. King, I understand. Anyway, if you get a chance to go hear them, it is well worth the price of admission. We could hear these guys playing as we walked back the last little bit.

Our tent was waiting for us! Chairs, somewhere to put our feet up and rest again. And lots of food! What more could you have asked for? We had friends, shade, food, drinks and great music to listen too. Did I mention folks were dancing in grass to the music? Plus you could have massages; get your favorite thing painted on your face, and many more fun things. Then there were the prizes to be given out…no, we didn’t take home any of the winners (although my Mom did make a blanket that was given out).

Now I guess you are wondering how much money was raised? Our team is up to $7753 at this point. The number from all the money donated online and the money turned in on Saturday. Pledges are still out for some of the team. It was a huge team this year, 50 members. Anna Cirolini (9 years old), the youngest walker on our team raised $312.

Next year, when you hear me talking about the MS Walk maybe you will think about joining us for this fun-filled day. It is a day of hope, celebration and where people join together to raise awareness of MS. Ok, we raise money too! Step by step, the money we raise for research brings us closer to a cure every day.

Thank you again for your support.