Greater New England Chapter
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Four states, four locations!
- Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn, Maine
- Best Western Royal Plaza, Marlborough, Massachusetts
- Church Landing, Meredith, New Hampshire
- Killington Grand Resort, Killington, Vermont
Save the Date for this free luncheon event to learn more about current MS research directions and the promise of ongoing research! Each location features a keynote presentation with an MS researcher. Watch your mailbox for details.
The Annual Meeting of Members is held to elect the Board of Trustees, and to consider the Annual Report of the Board and the Treasurer’s Report of the Chapter accounts. Send Trustee nomination by October 1, 2010. The Nomination Committee, prior to the submission for election, will review nominations. Please provide the name, address, phone number, and brief background of the nominee, as well as your name, address and phone number. If you cannot attend but would like to vote by proxy, fill out the form on the bottom of page 2. To register to attend the Annual Meeting, visit our website, call our office, or fill out the form on the back page of the Community PrograMS catalogue.
Bicycle riders in the Greater New England Chapter are extremely fortunate to have several great Bike MS rides from which to choose. They can travel through picturesque countryside, striking shorelines, and majestic mountains. Recently, the Maine and Vermont Bike MS rides took place on back to back weekends, July 31 & August 1 in Maine, and then August 7 & 8 in Vermont. The Massachusetts ride was a few weeks earlier on June 26 & 27.
Bike MS: Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Bike to the Breakwater ride had nearly 400 riders, and Bike MS: Green Mountain Getaway had nearly 200 riders, each 150 miles and two days.
In Maine, meteorologist Joe Cupo of WSCH6 hosted the Saturday night ceremonies and award presentations. The Teno Gaudin Award for Bike MS volunteer service went to Nancy Mackin for her outstanding efforts. The Ralph Goode Award for quiet distinction was presented to Bruce Blanchet for his untiring support of his brother, Tim, who has MS, and for everyone affected by the disease.
During the ceremonies, team captain John Sheehan talked about his team, Kelly’s Kruisers, and their inspiration for riding, Gail Kelly. Gail is also a member of the Chapter Board of Trustees. Riders and volunteers heard from another Chapter Trustee, Amy Morse, who talked about the high quality of care at the MS clinic in Maine. Everyone, of course, enjoyed the annual lobster bake and BBQ celebration.
As of the first day of the Maine ride, over $257,000 had been raised, nearly $50,000 more than last year at the same time.
In Vermont, Mt. Rupert offered a challenge, but the riders were more than motivated to climb to the top. The beauty of the Green Mountains and farm lands kept everyone dazzled. Scott Hinman, who has MS and is a member of the Vermont Bike MS Committee, spoke to the riders during the Saturday evening ceremonies. His perseverance and motivation to tackle challenges in spite of and because of MS are truly inspiring. Equally uplifting were volunteers Randy Stein on ham radio and Stuart Neufeld and John Pierce who checked riders in both days. All of whom have MS.
During the Saturday evening ceremony, awards were given to top fundraisers and volunteers for their outstanding efforts. The Team Captain Award was presented to Bob Finley, captain of Wheels of Justice, for his recruitment and fundraising success. The Team Spirit Award was earned by Larry Dunn and Sarah Gauthier, co-captains of Team Sugarbush/Vermont Adaptive. The Seasoned Rider Award went to John Wall. Scott Hinman earned distinction as the Star Rider, and his wife, Heather Hinman, shined equally bright as the Star Volunteer. For their successful efforts, Brad Vaiana and John Overbay were recognized with the Star Fundraiser award. And, the Top Fundraiser Award was presented to Bob Finley.
In recognition of the extra effort by dedicated rest stop volunteers who appear to riders like an oasis in the desert, the following awards were presented: the Best Decorated Rest Stop went to Rupert Town Green; the Loudest Rest Stop was given to Poultney Town Green; the Unbelievable Customer Service Rest Stop was well deserved by Mettawee School; and the Best Oasis Rest Stop went to Ira Baptist Church.
Also of special note, Duane Howard, team captain of The Mountaineers, has ridden in all 24 Vermont Bike MS rides.
The Chapter’s Medical Student Fellowship program offers two medical students a four-week long summer clinical fellowship. The fellowships provide the opportunity to gain clinical experience at several of our affiliated MS Centers and acquaint the students with the comprehensive care of MS Patients. This year, the Chapter received more applications than ever before and selected two fellows. Susie Eklund completed her first year of medical school at Tufts University and was our June fellow. Our July fellow was Hannah Leahy who is a second year student at the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, ME.
|Susie Eklund||Hannah Leahy|
MS Vacation Week took place June 13 - 18 at Easter Seals Camp Hemlocks in Hebron, Connecticut. As it has since 1988, this collaborative program of the Greater New England and Connecticut Chapters offers a five-day get-a-away for people with MS. Thirty-four people with MS (23 women and 11 men) took part in arts and crafts, a day of beauty, animal therapy, yoga, bocce ball, boating, fishing, a nature walk, massage therapy, swimming in an accessible pool, an aqua-size swim class, and a trip to Mohegan Sun Casino (just to name a few!). Out of the 34 people who attended, four reside in long term care facilities and six were individuals who had never been to MS Vacation Week.
Christine St. Laurent, the MS Certified Nurse who attends every year, conducted a workshop, “Safety in the Home,” teaching participants how to do a safety assessment of their home and changes to make to increase their own safety. Participants enjoyed socializing every evening during Karaoke night, a toga party, the annual talent show (allowing campers and volunteers alike to showcase their unique talents), and dancing (wheelchairs and all) to a live band, The Rockin’ Heartbeats.
A grant from the Camp Burt Tetlow Foundation and raffle proceeds donated by the Greater Springfield Self-Help Group provided scholarships for some of those who attended. We thank them for their generosity!