Six Thousand MS Flags Of Hope To Be Placed At State Capitol In Hartford For MS Action Day
HARTFORD, Conn.—As the sun rises Tuesday, March 4, the lawn of the Connecticut State Capitol Building will be awash in orange—thousands of orange flags. For a third year, activists and volunteers will gather before dawn to plant the brightly colored flags on the state capitol grounds. Each flag represents one of 6,000 Connecticut residents battling multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease.
“Planting 6,000 flags is a huge undertaking, but as the sun comes up and the last few flags are placed it is an incredible sight,” said Eric Szafran, who oversees the project now held in conjunction with MS Action Day each year. “The impactful visual shows all commuters that many people across our state are living with the unpredictable effects of multiple sclerosis.”
The flags are just part of an important day for the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, as it hosts the 13th annual MS Action Day in the Old Judiciary Room of the State Capitol Building at 210 Capitol Ave., in Hartford.
Volunteers will begin planting flags at 6:45 a.m. and it typically takes 45 minutes to complete. The 2014 MS Action Day event will kick off with dignitary presentations at 11:00 a.m. and will feature brief speeches and presentations from many state legislators, who have also been encouraged to show their support by wearing orange.
During MS Action Day, the Connecticut Chapter, its supporters and those living with MS will make their plea to legislators that the needs of those living with MS have never been greater.
“This event is an opportunity for people with MS, their family members and other advocates to meet with state legislators and let them know how critical programs are right now,” said Szafran, clinical partnerships and direct services manager at the Connecticut Chapter.
For 2014, the society is focusing on legislation that addresses the basic needs of families living with MS.
“Our legislative priorities include expanding programs that increase access home and community-based services for people living with MS, supporting energy assistance programs for year-round heating and cooling costs and ensuring transparency in health care coverage and costs,” said Szafran.
In addition to the normally scheduled activities, this year the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, and commercial photographer Mike Marques will present the i am a MoSaic, Connecticut’s Many Faces of MS, photo essay in the state capital. The photographs will be on exhibit in the Legislative Office Building for two weeks during the month of March. Guided tours of the show for those attending MS Action Day will be conducted beginning at 1:15 p.m.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with the unpredictable and baffling effects of multiple sclerosis. The cause is unknown and there is currently 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.
To learn more about participating in MS Flags of Hope Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at 6:45 a.m., please call Kate Moore at 860.913.2550. To learn more about MS Action Day visit www.ctfightsMS.org.