Local Walk MS Fundraising Team To Host Third Annual Pasta Dinner
WATERBURY, Conn. – Thomaston resident Kacey Sullivan woke up one morning in late November 2008, with numbness and tingling on the entire left side of her body. She was dizzy, off balance, and had double vision. The next month, after an MRI and spinal tap she received a confirmed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Sullivan, live with the effects of multiple sclerosis. The cause is unknown, and, as a result, 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.
Momentarily stunned by the news, Sullivan decided to join the fight against her disease. In 2009 she formed the Sully’s Shamrocks Walk MS team with her husband, Ryan. Their 42-member team participated at the Cheshire walk location and raised $6,436. Over the next three years, the team experienced steady growth in size and fundraising. In 2010, with 66 walkers, they raised $8,451. In 2011, the 84-walker team raised $20,434, and in 2012, Sully’s Shamrocks reached 108 team members, and became the top fundraising team at the Cheshire walk site, raising $23,670.
Since 2010, the team has hosted an annual pasta dinner to kick-start their Walk MS fundraising. This year’s Sully’s Shamrocks Pasta Dinner Fundraiser for the Fight Against MS will be held Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the AOH club in Waterbury.
Each year, the team selects a committee to organize the event. Members post flyers, send emails, and use Facebook to advertise and promote the dinner.
“We have a lot of family and friends who are school teachers, who also help spread the word,” said Sullivan, who still constantly experiences numbness and tingling in the left side of her body. “My husband coaches at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, and some of the kids participate in the walk with our team to fulfill a part of their community service hours.”
According to Sullivan, members of the football and golf teams have also volunteered their time to help out at the pasta dinner the past two years. This year, they will once again have volunteers from the girls’ basketball and golf teams.
“The growth of our event and of the team means the world to me,” said Sullivan. “It’s incredible how many people come out to show their support. I am very blessed to have so many supportive friends and family, they make my battle much easier. I could not get through each and every day without the love and support of my family and friends – especially my husband, Ryan, he is my rock!”
The event will also feature a raffle with prizes, which include golf gift certificates and golf equipment, wine baskets, restaurant gift certificates and hair care baskets.
The Sully’s Shamrocks Pasta Dinner Fundraiser for the Fight Against MS will be held Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m., at the AOH, located at 91 Golden Hill Street in Waterbury. The cost for the dinner is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, call Ryan at 860-283-2126.
The 2013 Walk MS takes place Sunday, April 21, at 12 sites statewide, including Cheshire, Clinton, Danbury, Enfield, Litchfield, Manchester, New London, Simsbury, Stamford, West Hartford, West Haven and Westport. Online registration is available at www.ctfightsMS.org.