Nov 15, 2012
DENVER – The Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National MS Society honored its Chapter-wide and local outstanding volunteers for their contributions and service during its 53rd annual meeting held on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. The honorees were selected from a pool of 1,500 volunteers who donated nearly 26,500 hours of service in 2012.
Powell resident Trevor Nelson was recognized as the Chapter’s Volunteer of the Year for volunteering countless hours and raising awareness of MS events in the communities of Cody and Powell, Wyoming. The owner of Lights ‘n Such chaired Walk MS Cody for the past three years, volunteering as the liaison between the community and the Society by overseeing event site arrangements and advertising the event. His efforts engaged 99 participants who raised more than$6,500. Nelson also captains a Walk MS team that has raised more than $10,000 over the past four years.
Walk MS Cody was one of seven Walks the Chapter held throughout Wyoming last spring. In 2012 the Chapter’s 15 Walk MS events raised a record $1.6 million, which supports programs and vital MS research worldwide.
Nelson also served as the Cody site coordinator of the four-city Wyoming program tour featuring Dr. Randy Schapiro, one of the country’s foremost MS neurologists. He secured a donated site and sound equipment in addition to advertising efforts. The Cody and Powel program had the largest audience of the four-city tour.
The Chapter also recognized local outstanding volunteers. Metro Denver honorees were Julie Gunkel, Arvada, Program Volunteer of the Year for serving as the Chapter’s liaison with Financial Education Partners, a pro bono financial counseling program that offers assistance to individuals and families affected by MS; Larry Cross, Littleton, Events Volunteer of the Year for helping with office and onsite event tasks for more than 15 years; Brooke Iverson, Parker, Muddiest Volunteer of the Year for volunteer leadership with the Chapter’s MuckRuckus MS mud obstacle event, which rasied $200,000; and Stephanie Swift, Denver, Behind the Scenes Hero for office support and event on-course volunteer coordination.
Northern Colorado honorees were Josh McMullen, Fort Collins and Ben Reser, Mintern, Rookies of the Year. The two biked 350 miles from Colorado to Kansas over the course of four days raising $7,121. Joseph Flanigan, Loveland, 2012 MS Ambassador Award for his numerous hours of time to raise awareness of MS by serving as a spokesperson at many school and community events; Logan Caldwell, Sue Lamb and Barbara Sedmack, Fort Collins and Debra Downing, Loveland, Behind the Scenes Award for the hundreds of hours of office support provided at the Fort Collins office; and Richard Ricchuiti, Flash Award for his photography services documenting Chapter events.
Honorees recognized in Southern Colorado included Robin Rivard, Canon City, Programs Volunteer of the Year for contributions to growing the Fremont and Custer County Self-Assist and Social group and planning and support of the successful Hike MS Royal Gorge; Joe Solano, Canon City, Special Events Volunteer of the Year for logistical support of Walk MS Colorado Springs, Walk MS Pueblo and assistance with the Newmont Bike MS ride; Kevin Vogt, Colorado Springs, Mission Advocate Award for ensuring the disability community as a whole is being considered and addressed through city and county policy work.
Western Slope honorees were Betty Buck, Grand Junction, Western Slope Volunteer of the Year for supporting MS programs, Walk MS Grand Junction, the MS On the Move Luncheon in Aspen, the MS Medical Clinic and social events to build support for the MS community; Hilary Kennedy, Grand Junction, Events Volunteer of the Year for coordination support of Walk MS Grand Junction; Delilah Mott, Cortez, Programs Volunteer of the Year for becoming a certified National MS Society self-help group facilitator and founding an outstanding Cortez support group; and Paulette Wheeler, Glenwood Springs, Rookie Volunteer of the Year, for Walk MS & 5K Run Glenwood Springs committee planning and parking coordination.
Wyoming volunteers also honored were: Mark Howshar, Cheyenne, Programs Volunteer of the Year for facilitating a self-help group, peer support and raising local awareness of MS and resources; Fred and Pam Culek, Cheyenne, Event Volunteers of the Year, for HAM radio support of Walk MS Cheyenne and Bike MS, where there is no cell service along 80 miles of the ride; and Gillette Rotary Club Rookies of the Year for organizing Walk MS Gillette, raising $20,000.
“Each year we look forward honoring our extraordinary volunteers,” said Carrie Nolan, Chapter president. “The leadership and support of volunteers who generously share their time and talents contribute to the success of the of these Society and touch every aspect the work we do to help people living with MS and take us closer to our ultimate goal of a world free of MS. The outstanding volunteers honored today- and all of our volunteers – exemplify people who truly make a difference,” Nolan added.
The Colorado-Wyoming Chapter has offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Cheyenne and Casper to serve and advocate for the 100,000 people affected by MS in Colorado and Wyoming.
About the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society
The Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National MS Society was founded in 1959 and provides comprehensive programs and advocacy to assist and empower the more than 100,000 individuals residing in Colorado and Wyoming who are affected by MS annually. The Colorado-Wyoming Chapter is also a driving force of research for the prevention, treatment and cure of MS and contributes funds to support 350 National MS Society research projects worldwide – six of which are located in Colorado. The Chapter has offices in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Cheyenne and Casper serving the Colorado and Wyoming communities.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) interrupts the flow of information between the brain and body and it stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than three times as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 in the U.S. and 2.4 million worldwide.