Despite Snowtober, WAMS Hartford Draws a Crowd - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

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Despite Snowtober, WAMS Hartford Draws a Crowd

November 16, 2011

250 Guests Raise More Than $62,000

A rare fall nor'easter ravaged Connecticut on Oct. 29, leaving much of the state in the dark for up to two weeks. However, never known to let the elements of nature get in their way, the Women Against MS still held their annual luncheon on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Marriott Hartford Downtown in Hartford. 250 guests, many still without power, came out to raise more than $62,000 at the NBC Connecticut Greater Hartford WAMS Luncheon. Keynote speaker Maureen Manley, a former U.S. Cycling Team National Champion who was diagnosed with MS while training for the 1984 Olympics, shared her story of perseverance and living life in the face of MS. NBC Connecticut evening news anchor Lisa Carberg served as mistress of ceremonies. Simsbury resident Shannon O'Donnell received the first-ever Maureen Jessen Volunteer of the Year Award, named in honor of long-standing WAMS committee chairperson Maureen Jessen, who was diagnosed with MS in 2001. Funds raised at events like the WAMS luncheon help ensure ongoing scientific research and also provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to the more than 6,000 Connecticut residents battling MS. For more information on multiple sclerosis, its effects and the many ways to help people living with MS, visit www.ctfightsMS.org

steering committee(clockwise from front): Maureen Jessen, Simsbury;Rhoda Steinberg, West Hartford; Debbie Nelson,Cheshire; Maureen Manley, Seattle, Wash.;  Lisa Gerrol, West Hartford; and Monica Marchese, West Hartford, pose just before the start of the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. Nelson, Steinberg, Marchese and Jessen are members of the WAMS steering committee. Jessen, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, serves as the committee chairperson. Gerrol is president of the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, which hosts the annual event focused on women and MS.

 

 

 

jen walshKathleen Heymann (left,) Glastonbury, and Jenifer Walsh, Cheshire, pose at the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. Heymann, who also participates in Walk MS, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997. Walsh, who is a longtime supporter and volunteer of the National MS Society, was diagnosed with MS in 1998. She and her husband have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through their Walk MS fundraising team, Team Jenifer. Walsh served as the official Walk MS spokesperson in 2009 and 2010, raising awareness through broadcast PSAs and interviews as well as in print.scarf

 Sheila Salkin, of Ciao Bella Women’s Boutique in Madison, slips a faux chinchilla scarf around the neck of Amy Nelson, Cheshire, just before the start of the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. Nelson, whose 19-year-old brother, Kyle, battles multiple sclerosis, is a student at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Salkin, whose friend and family member both live with MS, was one of several vendors participating in the pre-event shopping boutique.shannon and kelly

Kelly Sterling, of Simsbury, and Shannon O’Donnell, also of Simsbury, pose with (center) Maureen Manley, of Seattle, Wash.,  just before the start of the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. Both Sterling, 35, and O’Donnell, 35, battle MS, having been diagnosed in their 20s. They are members of the MS Kateers, a Walk MS fundraising team, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars over the past several years. O’Donnell received the first-ever Maureen Jessen Volunteer of the Year award at the Nov. 4 luncheon. Manley, a former U.S. Cycling Team National Champion, served as keynote speaker.robbin

Robbin Goodskey, New Hartford, poses with her daughters, Natalie and Lilly, at the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. Robbin was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006, 18 years after her mother, Barbara Byrne, of Canton, was diagnosed with MS. Robbin, who helps raise awareness through her personal account of living life in the face of MS, captains the Walk MS fundraising team, Robbin’s Hood.kyle

Kyle McClintock, New Haven, David Ciarcia, ofSouthington, pose with Maureen Jessen, of Simsbury, just before the start of the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. McClintock is the daughter of Mary McClintock, who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year. Mary McClintock formerly served as a development director with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, and is credited with establishing the popular luncheon event. Jessen, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, has served as chairperson of the WAMS steering committee since 2003 when Mary recruited her for the position.

alex brown and mom

Alex Brown, Griswold, and her mother, Doris Dubra,Putnam, pose just before the start of the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. Brown, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002, served as this year’s WAMS spokesperson, raising awareness on television and radio and also in print. alex and ani

Lisa Cosenza, of Alex + Ani in Killingworth, hands Ellen Long, of Rocky Hill, a bracelet  just before the start of the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hartford Marriot in downtown Hartford. Alex + Ani was one of the many vendors participating in this year’s pre-luncheon boutique experience. Luncheon guests had an opportunity to purchase hand crafted items, jewelry, designer clothing and more. Alex + Ani donated 20 percent of everything sold to the National MS Society. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/18/11

About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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