It was a record-setting event Saturday morning as McMinnville’s inaugural Multiple Sclerosis Walk raised over $30,000, making it the highest grossing, first-time, MS-related event ever held in the Midsouth.
“Folks have worked hard to make sure it was a success,” said walk organizer Heather George who suffers from multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease which affects the brain and spinal cord. “We had 15 teams along with a lot of individuals, many who worked year-round holding fundraisers.”
Around 300 people participated in the walk Saturday morning. The course was the walking trail at the Civic Center with the finish line near Gilley Pool. Walkers were given medals to mark completion of the walk.
Along with the walk, other fundraisers were being held on site including games for children, face painting, a live auction, quilt sale and a photo booth.
George, who was diagnosed with MS in 2007, has been attending MS walks for several years. However, the walks were all out of town in places like Nashville and Murfreesboro.
“Our MS Support group got together and decided it was time to have one here since it’s hard for some folks to drive to Nashville and Murfreesboro to participate,” George said. “That way we can get a lot of local support for the cause.”
With the success of the inaugural event, George said plans are already under way for a second MS Walk. The success, George said, has prompted the national association to put Warren County’s walk in the budget next year which will help the local event. George said October will likely remain the time for the MS Walk so it does not interfere with Walk for the Cure.
“The cool weather is also better for those of us with MS,” George said, noting the early morning temperatures in the mid-30s may have been a little too cool.