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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.



November 6, 2012

Shep and Ian Murray, brothers and founders of vineyard vines, will be honored with the MS Hope Award at the 2012 MS Dinner of Champions, Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich. For more information on the 2012 MS Dinner of Champions, please

Mark Teixeira named sports honoree.

GREENWICH, Conn. – The National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, has named Shep and Ian Murray, owners of vineyard vines, to receive the MS Hope Award at this year’s MS Dinner of Champions, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich.

The MS Hope Award honors outstanding individuals who exemplify extraordinary leadership, outstanding civic and community service and a long-standing commitment to humanitarian endeavors.

Shep and Ian Murray grew up spending their winters in Greenwich and summers in Martha’s Vineyard. While on a family vacation in Anguila in December 1997, they began to brainstorm a product to sell that would represent the finer things and places life had to offer. The brothers decided to sell ties. They named their company “vineyard vines,” after their favorite island.

Bored with their lives behind desks in Manhattan, they quit their jobs on the same day in June of 1998 to follow the American dream. Just a month later they began selling ties out of the back of a Jeep. By 2001, they began designing bags and eventually expanded into clothing.

Vineyard Vines now makes tie collections for the NFL, NHL, and MLB as well as a custom college collection. The Murray brothers have expanded their company, launching more than 20 stores nationwide.

“We feel incredibly honored to be recognized by such an amazing organization,” said Shep Murray, co-founder of vineyard vines.

In 2010, they formed the Tied to a Cause Collection, through which they partner with a different charity each month to create custom ties and totes. They donate 100 percent of proceeds back to the organization. Shep and Ian serve on the board of trustees for the Brunswich School and the Greenwich Point Conservancy. Shep currently resides in Riverside while Ian lives in Stamford.

The MS Dinner of Champions is an evening held to honor champions of business and the sports industry who make a difference in their organizations and communities. The MS Dinner of Champions event was established in 1978. Since the very first MS Dinner of Champions, which honored Howard Cosell, this event has continued to honor the most prominent “champions” of industry including Ernst & Young, IBM, Louis Dreyfus, Mutual of America, Pfizer and Xerox Corporation as well as both local and national sports figures such as Steve Young, Joe Namath, Frank Gifford, John Starks, Billie Jean King, Mary Lou Retton, and Bobby Valentine.

Since it was established, the MS Dinner of Champions has raised more than $6 million in the fight against MS.

The 2012 MS Dinner of Champions will feature cocktails and a silent auction opening from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., followed by a dinner with legends of the sports world, an extensive silent auction, and a unique live auction experience.

The event will also honor New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira with the J. Walter Kennedy Memorial Award.

For more information on vineyard vines, visit For more information on the 2012 MS Dinner of Champions, 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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