NEW HAVEN, Conn.- In the summer of 2011 while Sam Greenberg was getting ready to enter his senior year at Southern Connecticut State University, he went on a family trip to the Grand Canyon. Little did he know, that trip would lead him to farm an organization aimed to help those with multiple sclerosis.
“I remembered a childhood dream when I visited the Arizona Diamondback Stadium,” said Greenberg, who plays baseball for SCSU. “I had always wanted to visit all of the major league baseball stadiums across the United States.”
Greenberg decided to put together a way for others, who had the same dream, to visit multiple baseball stadiums while helping out a worthy cause. Despite still being a college student, he began his own non-profit organization called Mission Stadiums for Multiple Sclerosis, or MS4MS.
A native of Guilford, Greenberg founded MS4MS with the goal to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, by creating a competition that includes teams of four to six people from around the United States, competing to raise the most money. The team who raises the most in each division, wins an all-expense-paid trip to all of the major league baseball stadiums in the division of their choice. The proceeds after the trip will benefit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter.
Geoff Hirko, Sam Greenberg and Sean Leahy pose New York University before meeting with Pat O’Connor, CEO of Minor League Baseball and the director of the Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities. Hirko and Leahy are assisting Greenberg with his new non-profit, MS4MS, which hopes to send people to baseball stadiums across the country while also raising money for MS.
Greenberg chose MS as his charity of choice because he is familiar with its disabling effects. His grandmother lived with MS for many years, as well as his cousin and his friend’s mother.
“I wanted to do something different, something that no one knows about,” said Greenberg, 21. “I wanted to raise awareness about MS and help others learn more about the disease.”
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness in the limbs, and in extreme cases, complete paralysis. There currently is no cure for multiple sclerosis.
Greenberg plans to partner with the National MS Society and turn this idea into a full-time career once he graduates in May 2012. Eventually, he hopes to raise enough money to cure the disease.
“I designed the competition as a fun and unexpected way to raise funds for a great cause,” said Greenberg. “So far the idea has been well received and I’ve been able to network with highly connected people associated with professional baseball, many of whom responded favorably to my idea.”
Currently, MS4MS is in the beginning stages of development, and has attracted the attention of students from both SCSU and Quinnipiac University. Greenberg and around 20 other Connecticut undergraduates are working on the project to raise awareness about their foundation and multiple sclerosis. They plan to begin traveling to baseball stadiums as a large group, all wearing orange and driving an orange van, in order to attract attention for their cause. If all goes well, they hope to incorporate other sports into their organization as well.
At the present time, MS4MS is looking for corporate sponsors to partner with and begin their journey. For more information on MS4MS, visit their website at www.ms4ms.org or on Facebook at MS4MS.
For more information on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, visit www.ctfightsms.org.