Jack Beiter serves as a senior statesman for the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride, having begun his commitment to the Society after his 70th birthday. Years later, “Captain Jack” is one of the ride’s highest fundraisers, raising money and awareness through his networks from Rotary and a lifetime in business in the region. The octogenarian also ensures that his team’s cyclists focus on safety and mission, with all members required to raise $1,000 to participate.
Barry Engelman is a leading Walk MS fundraiser and team captain, active trustee, major contributor to research through Golden Circle, and his family has a powerhouse Bike MS team. In the last decade, the Engelmans’ Walk and Bike teams have brought countless people to the movement to end MS, and raised nearly $723,000 in honor of Barry’s son. Barry also donates his time and expertise, especially in assistance with financial reports, audits, investments and budgets.
As the CEO of the highest rated television station in the Pacific Northwest, Ray Heacox has opened many doors to increased awareness and participation in the MS Movement. Even more influential than this public relations assistance is Ray’s one-to-one work to assist in securing sponsorships and major gifts, the largest of which was a $100,000 donation to Fast Forward research. In addition to this gift, Ray has leveraged partnerships with corporations such as Comcast and Alaska Airlines, who donates multiple flight vouchers to the Chapter each year.
Gerald Merfish, owner of Merfish Pipe & Supply, has been active with the Society since 2000 and is fifth highest cumulative fundraiser for Bike MS events in the South Central Region. He has been a member of the Regional Board of Trustees for nine years where he has served as Board Secretary and Chairman of the Finance Committee. He is credited with forming a budget panel to review allocation of funds for programs and services.
Bruce Pearlman has combined his skills as a CPA/PFS with his passion for the MS Movement. Inspired by his wife’s diagnosis and passing, Bruce began fundraising for the Society in his first Walk MS event, 17 years ago. Since then, he established a scholarship for college students affected by MS, served on the chapter’s Board of Trustees, and forged sponsorships with significant in-kind donors. Bruce’s financial knowledge has been an invaluable asset to the Society.
Jeannie Unruh has served the Kentucky – Southeast Indiana Chapter for more than 20 years. In 1987 Jeannie joined the MS Movement to fulfill not only the Society’s mission, but her own: to “…show up to life each day.” With the wisdom that there will always be those less fortunate, she insures she takes every measure, makes every effort and never backs down from the mission of helping others while creating a world free of MS.
The Walker Family is synonymous with Team Sugarbee, an extraordinary family and Bike MS team that has tirelessly raised money and inspired others to join the movement in pursuit of the MS cure. For 25+ years, their leadership has resulted in raising more than a million dollars for the Society, has strengthened awareness about MS, and has motivated hundreds more to become volunteers while serving as role models for people living with and affected by MS.