WALK MS STORIES
Why do YOU walk?
Members of the Colorado-Wyoming MS community have submitted their stories to share with you. We hope that reading about the courage, challenges, and optimism experienced by those whose lives are affected by MS will motivate you to register, volunteer or donate to Walk MS.
Walk MS Glenwood Springs Volunteer Committee – This is why we walk
Twenty-five years ago, Walk MS Colorado began in Denver. A year later in 1990, a group of passionate individuals affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) decided to start a walk in Glenwood Springs. Initially the event could not take place in the canyon as the bridges and tunnels were being constructed, so they settled for an equally beautiful spot in Glenwood Springs. Today, 24 years later, the event faithfully uses the gorgeous Glenwood Canyon from the No Name rest area to the Grizzly Creek rest area and back again.
The committee that organizes this Walk MS event is made up of top fundraisers, diehard volunteers, and devoted team captains. Over the past 24 years they have worked together to maintain a presence in the Roaring Fork Valley. Penny Donelan of Team Donelan... Walk On and Tillie Fischer, a Walk MS Top 100 Club member, have spearheaded much of the community involvement that makes this walk special from XI Sigma Sorority, Glenwood High School cheer leaders, KIWANIS, and Cookie the Clown. Each year supporters come out to put on a great event.
In 2002 Walk MS Glenwood Springs was named the David Donelan MS Walk in honor and memory of David, Penny's son, who passed away in 2001 after a difficult struggle with MS. Each year this event raises from $50,000 to $70,000 for programs, services and research to support people living with MS. Over the last 23 years that totals almost $1.4 million.
For Tillie and her husband Rolly, the walk began as a way to support a very dear niece living with MS. They raised about $400. Then, their son George was diagnosed and they stepped up their efforts. Tillie and Rolly have been raising around $3,000 every year since then. Additionally, Tillie recruits local sponsorship from many area businesses which has been approximately $5,000 each year.
Penny and her husband Chuck as well as their daughter Shanley and son-in-law Eric all participate at Walk MS Glenwood Springs. Penny and Shanley are integral to the success of the committee and work through every logistical detail from pancake batter from Village Inn to the 30 foot banner that hangs above Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs.
This Walk MS continues to grow. In 2007 a 5K race was added and is an exciting start for the Walk as the runners return just before the opening ceremony for Walk MS. Additional committee members Lynn Astrach, Dee Blue and Sandy Teich contribute their time and talent to recruit new participants and local business support. Lynn always manages to entertain our participants by faithfully recruiting local musicians The Curry's and Defiance String Band. Sandy and Dee are at the Walk site very early to welcome all of our volunteers for the day's festivities.
The Colorado-Wyoming Chapter is so grateful for the efforts of the Walk MS Glenwood Springs Committee. They are a shining example of what passionate people can do to help bring us closer to a world free of MS.