Get Your Irish Up for MS!
FARMINGTON, Conn. – As March nears, Americans nationwide prepare in earnest to get their Irish up. However, no one does it better than Michael O’Toole, who invites you to get your Irish up . . . or on the rocks. And, to assuage any misplaced guilt, he says it’s all for a worthy cause!
O’Toole will host the sixth annual Get Your Irish Up for MS!, presented by Companions & Homemakers, Saturday, March 16 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Farmington Marriott in honor of O’Toole’s late mother, who fought an aggressive form of the disease until her passing in 2006.
“Multiple sclerosis has been a part of my life since just days after I was born.” said O’Toole, a resident of Simsbury. “My mother dealt with the debilitating effects of MS for more than 25 years and serves as an inspiration to myself and others for her courage and strong will. We miss her every day and are happy we can remember her in such a way that will directly help others fighting MS today.”
Simsbury couple Michael O’Toole and Jennifer O'Toole, pose with Manchester residents Linus Deasy and his wife, Kate, while at the 2012 Get Your Irish Up for MS! fundraiser. In its five-year history, the event has raised roughly $77,000 for the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. Kate Deasy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis seven years ago. Her husband, Linus, is the senior catering manager at the Marriott Hotel in Farmington. O’Toole will host the sixth annual Get Your Irish Up for MS!, presented by Companions & Homemakers, Saturday, March 16 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Farmington Marriott. Tickets are $75 per person or tables of 10 are available for $700. For more information on Get Your Irish Up For MS!, please call 860-597-0350 or visit his website at www.getyouririshup.org.
After his mother’s passing, O’Toole admitted he was angry but, eventually, he decided to channel his feelings in a more positive direction. He established the Get Your Irish Up For MS! fundraiser in 2007.
“Over the past six years, Get Your Irish Up For MS! has raised close to $80,000 to help people living with the effects of multiple sclerosis,” he said. “I know firsthand that MS can be devastating for a family.”
The 2013 event features a night of Irish music, dancing, drink and fare all to benefit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. The night includes a Pour Your Own Guinness station to make sure everyone gets a perfect pint. Guests can sample various marks of Irish whiskey with a certified whiskey expert. There will also be an Irish cultural display and an Irish-themed buffet dinner. Guests will have a chance to enter drawings for prizes, including a luxury vacation in Ireland for two.
The Jolly Beggars will perform traditional Celtic music at the event followed by a performance by the West Hartford-based Coogan School of Irish Dance.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with the effects of multiple sclerosis. The cause is unknown and there currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.
Tickets are $75 per person or tables of 10 are available for $700. Funds raised through events, such as the Get Your Irish Up For MS!, ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter.
The Marriott Hotel is located at 15 Farm Springs Road, Farmington. This year’s master of ceremonies is Ryan Hanrahan, meteorologist for NBC Connecticut. Get Your Irish Up For MS!, presented by Companions & Homemakers, is also sponsored by McLadden’s Irish Publick House and NBC Connecticut. For more information on Get Your Irish Up For MS!, please call 860-597-0350 or visit his website at www.getyouririshup.org. For more information on multiple sclerosis and the many ways the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, helps people with MS keep their lives moving forward, please visit www.ctfightsMS.org.