Mar 14, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Susan Ashline
March 13, 2013 OFFICE: 585-271-0805 (X70344)
Ten Rochester Area Individuals/Groups Honored for MS Activism
On the Move Luncheon Highlights MS Awareness Week
Pittsford, NY - The National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter is honoring eight individuals and two groups for their hard work and determination to rid the world of multiple sclerosis, at the 3nd Annual On the Move Luncheon on Friday, March 15. This unique awards ceremony and networking luncheon, held during MS Awareness Week (March 11-17), showcases MS activists in our community. Some of the award winners have raised thousands of dollars for MS research, programs and services, while others have given exhaustively of their time and skills. The honorees are in five categories:
Young Persons On the Move – Sandra Quiñones, of Rochester
Professionals On the Move – Daniel Krist & Todd Schirmer, of Hamlin, and James Andolina, of Hilton
Volunteers On the Move – Sharon Radak, of Canandaigua, and Kerrie Giesen, of Webster
Inspirational Persons On the Move – Andrea Coggeshall, of Henrietta, and Patty Horr, of Caledonia
Groups On the Move – Dixon Schwabl, in Victor, and Nazareth College Physical Therapy Department, in Rochester.
The On the Move Luncheon is a nationwide educational and fundraising event that helps increase public awareness of MS and the National MS Society, while acknowledging and encouraging the advancement of philanthropists, community leaders and volunteers. The goal of the On the Move Luncheon is to raise funds and empower individuals to create a better future for those living with MS.
What: 3rd Annual On the Move Luncheon
When: Friday, March 15, 2013
Time: 11:30 a.m. (networking), 12:00 p.m. (lunch & program)
Where: Locust Hill Country Club, 2000 Jefferson Road Pittsford, NY 14534
About this year’s honorees:
Sandra Quiñones, of Rochester, volunteers as a liason to the Society, reaching out to Latino families and taking part in bilingual self-help groups for Spanish-speaking people living with MS in Rochester. She also helps organize fundraisers and volunteers as an office assistant at the Upstate New York Chapter.
Daniel Krist and Todd Schirmer, of Hamlin, are active co-chairs of the task force which coordinates Walk MS Greece. Walk MS, this year on May 5, is the chapter’s largest annual fundraiser and Greece is one of the Upstate New York Chapter’s major Walk MS sites. Krist became involved with the chapter soon after his mother was diagnosed with MS. In 1999, he met Todd while participating in Walk MS Greece. At the time, Todd was part of the Walk MS Greece task force, and Dan joined it the following year. Together, they map and plan the walk routes, secure donations and vehicles for use on the day of the event and work with the Greece School District to make sure the event runs smoothly. Krist works at Advantage Federal Credit Union as a Mortgage Originator/Loan Officer, while Schirmer is Vice President and Manager of Northwest Savings Bank’s Greece office.
Jim Andolina, of Hilton, has been part of Bike MS since 1995. He started riding in Bike MS Finger Lakes Challenge (this year at Keuka College on July 20-21) shortly after one of his good friends was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and has been riding 18 consecutive years now. In 2002, Andolina formed the Vintage Raiders team. His wife and children joined him on the ride, and then in 2009, the team added both of his grandchildren, who were just 7 and 11 years old. The Vintage Raiders have been among the top three Bike MS fundraising teams for the Upstate New York Chapter for several years. Andolina has planned a baby shower, bridal shower, two weddings and countless personal activities around this annual chapter fundraiser. He trains each week by cycling many miles. In December of 2009, Andolina suffered a major heart attack. Before he left the hospital, he assured everyone that he would still be riding in Bike MS the following August – a promise that he kept. In August of 2010, Andolina found himself at Bike MS surrounded by friends and family. He continues to be dedicated to doing whatever he can to pursue prevention, treatment and one day – a cure.
Sharon Radak, of Canandaigua, became familiar with multiple sclerosis at a very early age when her mother was diagnosed with the disease in the early 1960s. She began participating in National MS Society read-a-thons when she was in elementary school, and then continued her support into adulthood. Radak has participated in Walk MS and Bike MS, two of the chapter’s largest annual fundraising events, numerous times. Most recently, Radak helped organize and fundraise for this past summer’s event, “Spellbound by the Lake,” a benefit for the Upstate New York Chapter.
Kerrie Giesen, of Webster, is an active volunteer with the Upstate Chapter of the National MS Society, helping with a support group called RAMS East. Living with MS, she adds another dimension to the group, inspiring others in ways staff facilitators are unable to, encouraging them to get involved with the chapter and remain active in the community. Giesen freely shares her MS ups and downs with the group. She is currently starting a self-help group in Wayne County and runs informational tables at wellness fairs, talking one-on-one with people affected by MS. She also participated in mask making and design for the Al Sigl Community of Agencies’ Walk-About fundraiser. Giesen is forming a Walk MS team called Team Giesen. Additionally, she is actively involved with Bioness® as a user of, and spokesperson for, the L300 Foot Drop System.
Andrea Coggeshall, of Henrietta, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1989. Despite her diagnosis, she continues to be On the Move to find a cure for MS and offers support to others who are living with MS. Coggeshall played a big part in setting up the Upstate New York Chapter’s Lending Library that provides access to accurate, current and comprehensive information to people with MS and those who care for them. She worked at the MS clinic and volunteered to be a trial patient for experimental drugs. She helps with chapter fundraisers, is a part of a National MS Society support group, and has taken part in Walk MS. Coggeshall’s desire to help people extends beyond the National MS Society. She works part time at the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester under the MFP (Money Follows People) grant, where she is a peer counselor who helps people find support systems that will allow them to continue living in their community.
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004, Patty Horr, of Caledonia, found a new passion – raising money to find a cure for the disease. For the past five years, Horr, along with her family, has held a fundraiser called the MS/GIST fundraiser that takes place in Scottsville each summer. Horr was one of the biggest supporters of her brother during his battle with GIST cancer and continues this support through the fundraiser. Horr, through this fundraiser, has raised more than $31,000 for MS and GIST cancer.
In August of 2012, Dixon Schwabl, headquartered in Victor, participated in The Stand Against MS, a fundraiser for the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter. The group wanted to raise awareness and generate funds for the National MS Society, along with encouraging other businesses and members of the community to get involved. Dixon Schwabl hosted a lemonade stand outside of their Victor office once a week throughout the month of August. Approximately 20 children of Dixon Schwabl employees volunteered at the lemonade stand, selling lemonade and baked goods, and helping to collect donations while wearing matching, custom-made t-shirts for the fundraiser. Dixon Schwabl also created a virtual lemonade stand to give the public a fun and interactive way to learn more about this fundraiser and donate online by purchasing a virtual calorie-free glass of lemonade. Between the lemonade stands at the agency and online donations, Dixon Schwabl raised a total of $1,860 for the Society. The company has been a big supporter of the chapter, generously donating their time and skills to design invitations for the chapter’s Spellbound by the Lake fundraiser in 2011.
The Nazareth College Physical Therapy program, under the direction of Mary Ellen Vore, PT, started a fitness and wellness program five years ago for individuals with multiple sclerosis. The program encourages living healthy with a chronic disease. The 10-week, individualized exercise program allows the participant to work one-on-one with a physical therapy graduate student under the supervision of licensed physical therapists. Each semester, this program serves 20-25 individuals with multiple sclerosis to improve their overall fitness and health. Last fall, the department held two 8-week sessions of a program called Free From Falls. This is a comprehensive fall prevention program for people with MS, designed by the National MS Society.
For more information, contact Susan Ashline, Communications Manager, 585-271-0805 (x70344), Susan.Ashline@nmss.org.
About multiple sclerosis and the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter: Multiple sclerosis, an often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed. The rate of diagnosis in Upstate New York is about double the national average. MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide and more than 12,800 people in the 50-county region served by the Upstate New York Chapter. For more information, visit www.MSupstateny.org.