TROY — Residents of Miami County banded together toward a cure for multiple sclerosis during Sunday’s 23rd annual Walk MS Troy event, held at Troy Memorial Stadium.
Approximately 225 pre-registered for the event, with hundreds more registering the day of the walk. Registrants had the option of checking in as individuals or as teams.
The walk, which consisted of a one-mile and three-mile course, took participants away from the stadium toward Adams Street, along Riverside Cemetery, and into Duke Park. A free lunch was provided to participants at the stadium following the walk.
While registration was free, participant donations were accepted. Event t-shirts were provided to those who donated $100 or more, with award levels for various other prizes.
“At one time, we only had about 125 people,” said event co-chairperson Connie Veach, who has been involved with Walk MS for 15 years. “Our goals change every year — we used to bring in $15,000-20,000 every year, but we now bring in $30,000-40,000 each year. There’s been a lot of growth.”
Veach explained that all resources for the event were provided by the generosity of local sponsors.
“That allows us to not spend any money, but also have all of our funds go toward research, programming, clinics, and putting on special events,” Veach said.
“Walk MS Troy, for the many years that I’ve been part of this organization, has always impressed me,” said event emcee Tom Bensinger, of Advanced Audio. “This walk alone raises more money per person than any other walk through the Ohio Valley market, and that’s amazing.”
“My diagnosis of MS will be 25 years ago in August,” Veach said. “For me, this day is my motivator for the other 364 days of the year. It’s a day when everyone with the same disabling disease can come together. We have this common thing we deal with every day, but it’s okay. We have the hurdles, but we can get over them together.”
In 2018, Walk MS events nationwide topped the $1 billion mark in raising money toward research.
Other upcoming local Walk MS events include a walk in Sidney on Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m., which starts and ends in Tarawa Park, and a walk in Kettering on Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m., which starts and ends at Delco Park. Registration for both walks will be open 90 minutes prior.
For more information, visit www.nationalmssociety.org.