McMinnville’s third MS Walk and auction held Saturday at the Civic Center was a big success, according to organizer Heather George. According to George, over $15,000 was raised to go toward MS research.
“I think we had a few more people participating this year. I also want to thank our local sponsors who made this happen,” said George.
MS (multiple sclerosis) is a chronic, often disabling, disease that attacks the central nervous system which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms vary from mild, such as numbness in the limbs, to severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. George was diagnosed with MS in 2007.
Ken Mullican donated his auctioneering services to raise money from an auction held under the Jungle Jym pavilion before the walk. Mullican auctioned items including a Kindle, a tablet, nursery stock, a homemade wooden porch swing, homemade cakes, pies, breads and jellies and a large assortment of themed baskets filled with goodies.
Walkers raised money before the walk was held and turned in their pledges Saturday.
Walkers came from all over to participate in the day. Sharon Burbage traveled from Franklin to walk in honor of her niece, Heather George.
“I brought lots of baked goods and cookbooks to sell. I am so proud of Heather. She works hard at her job and works hard in her volunteerism also. You can’t keep the girl down. Of course, I’m a little prejudice,” said Burbage.
Heather’s brother, Clark George, also sang her praises, “I think it went great. This takes a lot of work by a lot of people. It’s all Heather. She works hard to organize this and everyone comes together to help her pull this off,” he said.
Several people walked the trail at the Civic Center. Each team sported a different colored shirt showing who they were walking in memory or in honor of. Several people had papers taped to their backs with names listed of loved ones they were walking for that day.
Walgreens had a team of walkers who raised money and walked for Chrysta Biss, wife of Walgreens employee Scott Biss. Chrysta was diagnosed with MS 14 and-a-half years ago.
“This is the second year Walgreens has participated in this walk. The money is important, but it also helps to raise awareness. Both are necessary,” said Scott Biss.
Rebecca Polk, development coordinator and Shea Smith, development director for MS Society of Tennessee, Mid-South chapter were on hand for the walk.
The Mid-South chapter actually covers the entire state of Tennessee and 9,000 people living with MS.
“I think this is awesome. There was a great show of support from the community today,” said Smith.
Polk said, “The silent auction was wonderful. It took initiative to have the silent auction. Heather has done a great job organizing everything today.”
The women said there are 12 walks held across the state raising money for MS, the majority of which are held in the spring. “Many people with MS are sensitive to the heat, so most walks are scheduled when the weather is cooler,” said Polk.
Proceeds from the walk and auction will go toward MS research.