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The Connecticut Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Connecticut and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.


Renee DiNino Named Honorary Chairperson, Slated To Perform

January 9, 2013

Seventh Annual Tasting Event at The Society Room in Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. – Renee DiNino, midday host on The River 105.9 has been named honorary chairperson for the Greater Hartford MS Taste of Hope, which will be held on Wednesday, March 13, at The Society Room in Hartford.

DiNino, is also host of My Community Access and Celebrity Access. In addition, she serves as director of community affairs and programming for Clear Channel Radio Connecticut. DiNino, who has partnered with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter for nearly seven years, shared her excitement. She will serve as honorary chairperson for a second consecutive year.

“I’m honored that the Connecticut Chapter would think of me again to be the honorary chair at this event,” said DiNino, a resident of Wethersfield. “I’m proud to continue supporting the Connecticut Chapter, it’s something that’s very important to me.”

Taste Hartford 2

Caption left to right: Cyndi Simms, Southington, Renee DiNino, Wethersfield, and Michael Simonetta, of Middletown, pose at the 2012 Greater Hartford MS Taste of Hope event. DiNino, who airs on The River 105.9 and My Community Access, is a longtime partner and will serve as Honorary Chair for the chapter’s Greater Hartford MS Taste of Hope on Wednesday, March 13, at The Society Room in Hartford. She will also perform at the event with her band, Mermaid Martini featuring DiNino on lead vocals, Simms on keyboard and vocals and Simonetta on drums. For more information or to register, visit 

DiNino is a lifelong resident of Connecticut who grew up in East Hartford and attended East Hartford High School. Since 2008, DiNino has interviewed numerous guests, who live with multiple sclerosis, on her show My Community Access, which syndicates across all Connecticut Clear Channel stations, providing a voice to Connecticut non-profit and community based organizations. Together, they educate listeners on the effects of MS and share with audiences the many ways they can help make a difference.

Based in Hartford, Clear Channel Radio Connecticut partners with the chapter to support its annual Walk MS event, the Bike MS: Cardio Express Ride, Women Against MS luncheons and the MS Taste of Hope. Clear Channel Radio Connecticut also airs public service announcements for these events on all seven stations. In 2009, DiNino received the Outstanding Outreach & Public Education Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, at its annual meeting and awards ceremony.

Along with her duties as honorary chairperson, DiNino will also share her musical talents. DiNino and her friend Cyndi Simms, of Southington, form the rock duo Mermaid Martini. DiNino will provide vocals while Simms will perform on piano and guitar. They have been performing together for nearly eight years. Michael Simonetta, Middletown, of local rock cover band, Vivid, will accompany the duo on drums.

“Anything I can do to help the chapter I will do,” said DiNino. “I’m incredibly humbled and looking forward to a great time.”

The Greater Hartford MS Taste of Hope is a wine, spirits and gourmet food tasting to benefit those in Connecticut battling the potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. The event features fine wine and sumptuous cuisine prepared by some of Connecticut’s most renowned chefs. In 2012, roughly two dozen restaurants and beverage vendors participated in the Greater Hartford MS Taste of Hope. More than 200 guests attended last year’s tasting and raised over $17,000.

The seventh annual tasting will feature more than two dozen Greater Hartford restaurants and vendors to showcase their finest food, wine and spirits.

To date participating restaurants include: The Society Room, Hartford; DISH Bar & Grill, Hartford; Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, West Hartford; Salute, Hartford;, and Corey’s Catsup and Mustard, Manchester; Besito, West Hartford; Peppercorn's Grill, Hartford and more.

Beverage vendors include: City Steam Brewery Café, Hartford; Peel Liqueur, New Britain; Thomas Hooker Brewery, Hartford; The Olde Burnside Brewing Company, East Hartford; and the Willimantic Brewing Company, Willimantic.

Frosted Couture Cupcakes and Christina’s Gourmet Cookies, each located in Southington, will offer their confections.

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease for which there is no cure. Funds raised by the chapter through events, such as MS Taste of Hope, fund scientific research and provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter to people in Connecticut diagnosed with MS.

Radio partners for the 2013 Greater Hartford MS Taste of Hope include Clear Channel Communications stations Kiss 95.7 FM, WPOP Fox Sports Radio 1410 AM, ESPN Radio 97.9 FM, The River 105.9 FM, Country 92.5 FM and KC 101.3 FM.

DiNino lives in Wethersfield with her husband, Sal, and dogs, Daisy Mae and Lucky Luke.

The tasting takes place Wednesday, March 13, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets purchased in quantities of four or more are just $50 per person, but must be purchased by contacting Meg Staubley at 860-913-2550, ext. 52524. Individual tickets are $75.

For more information on the event or to register online, please visit


About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts 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 leading to better understanding and 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 2.3 million people worldwide.


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