Mar 22, 2013
DENVER – A crowd of more than 325 community members came together in early March to honor two influential leaders at the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s 19th Annual Northern Colorado Dinner of Champions held at the Hilton Fort Collins.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” was the theme of this year’s event and attendees were inspired to maintain momentum for finding a cure as they viewed highlights of exciting MS treatment advancements that have resulted from the Society’s investment in research. While the cause and a cure for MS remain unknown, there are now nine FDA-approved treatments for MS, including two oral therapies, where none existed just 20 years ago. Nearly $100,000 was raised during the evening, which will support Chapter programs and the promising research that benefit more than 100,000 people affected by MS in Colorado and Wyoming.
Steve Nichols and Dennis Houska presented Connie Hanrahan, owner of the Fort Collins-based Mantooth Marketing Company, the Chapter’s 2013 Hope Award in recognition of her exceptional contributions to philanthropy and volunteerism. Hanrahan has been a dynamic empowerment force, mentoring young women in Northern Colorado for more than 25 years. Hanrahan joins the ranks of past Dinner of Champions honorees, including Dave and Steve Nichols, High Country Beverages; Dennis and Noreen Houska, Houska Automotive Services; and brothers, Chad and Troy McWhinney, McWhinney Enterprises.
Loveland resident Pam Carlson received the Chapter’s 2013 MS Champion Award for her support of the local MS community. Carlson, who was diagnosed with MS in 2002, has worked hundreds of volunteer hours at the Chapter’s Northern Colorado office in Fort Collins and also captains Walk MS team PEACHES (People Excited About a Cure Hope Equals Success). Carlson has also been a top Northern Colorado fundraiser for the past seven years.
“Each year the Dinner of Champions gives us the wonderful opportunity to recognize Northern Colorado community leaders who are truly making a positive difference for people living with MS and our local community,” said Susan Barstad, the Chapter’s Northern Colorado community outreach manager. “We are honored to recognize outstanding people,” she added.
Registration is now open for the Chapter’s next community outreach event, Walk MS Northern Colorado, presented by Wells Fargo, which is slated for Saturday, May 11 in Windsor. To register or volunteer for Walk MS Northern Colorado, or for more information on MS, research, Chapter-wide upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, visit www.cureMSco-wy.org.
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 325 National MS Society research projects worldwide – eight 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, an unpredictable, 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. 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 at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide.