TULALIP — Nearly 600 walkers started and ended their course at the Tulalip Amphitheatre for this year’s Walk MS in Tulalip on Saturday, April 12, and while this represented a slightly smaller turnout than last year’s local event, event organizers still considered it a healthy show of support given the other worthy causes close to home that are calling for people’s time and commitment.
“We understand the community is splitting its attention, with the recent tragedy in Oso,” said Sarah Chromy, communications manager for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Greater Northwest Chapter. “It’s still an impressive number for Snohomish County.”
As of Tuesday, April 15, Chromy estimated that the Walk MS in Tulalip had generated nearly $90,000 for the National MS Society in Snohomish County, out of the $1.6 million in funds raised through this year’s Walk MS events throughout the Greater Northwest Chapter. These numbers are actually up from last year’s.
“The Lumpy Bruisers, with team captain Mitzi Ahles, did an amazing job of recruiting and fundraising this year,” Chromy said. “The Snohomish Goat Farmers, with team captain Ray Emery, led the way as our highest local fundraising team, with more than $16,000. Plus, they always bring out at least two goats to Walk MS, which is a sure crowd-pleaser for the children.”
The Mel Walkers team, with joint captains Bruce and Melissa Groenewegen, ranked second in fundraising, with more than $15,000, while Elaine’s Power Walkers, with team captain Jeff Ponton, came in third with more than $4,000.
“Elaine’s Power Walkers also brought tons of team spirit and balloons,” Chromy said. “The face painter was a big hit as well, painting everything from birds to tigers, and everything in between.”
Chromy explained that more than 77 cents of every dollar raised through Walk MS goes directly to improve the lives of people living with MS. Through its donors and fundraisers, the National MS Society is able to:
“Last year, it was pouring rain out here, so everyone was happy to hang around after this year’s Walk MS to catch up with one another, have some lunch and soak up some sunshine,” Chromy said. “Walk MS connects those in our local communities to one another, as we rally together to raise funds and celebrate hope for a future free of multiple sclerosis. It’s an opportunity for everyone affected by MS to meet others who may be going through similar life experiences, and to take action to end MS forever. There’s an incredible network of support, information and resources available, and Walk MS is the rallying point that makes it all possible.”
For more information, log onto www.nationalmssociety.org/Chapters/WAS.