LOCKPORT – A fundraising walk for multiple sclerosis patients has been held annually in Lockport for more than a decade, but this year a small group of women plan to offer their own events in addition to the walk.
Team MSSUCKS, as the group calls itself, has organized a 5-kilometer run on the day of the walk, which is next Sunday, along with a golf tournament May 31.
“As a team, this is our third year doing it,” said Bobbi Jo Dwyer, of Lockport, who will run on behalf of her brother-in-law Christian Dwyer, who was diagnosed with MS seven years ago.
“Most of the people have someone in their family with MS,” Dwyer said.
Other members of the team include Kelley Devine, running for her cousin Erin McFarland; Beth Neidrauer, running for her father, Charles Rohde; and Christi Delahunt, running for her aunt, Jennifer Mendola.
The Team MSSUCKS race director is Kelly Voigt, “whom we could not do this race without,” Dwyer said. Voigt is the only team member who doesn’t have a relative with MS.
The team also will be honored at Niagara Falls on Friday night, when the falls will be illuminated in orange, the MS awareness color.
Registration for the official MS Walk in Lockport starts at 9 a.m. next Sunday at Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises, 210 Market St. Online registration is available in advance at www.walkMSupstateny.org.
The walk will use the Erie Canal towpath. Dwyer said one-, three- and five-mile routes are available, but “99 percent of the people do the one-mile.”
There is no registration fee for the walk along the canal, but the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website says walkers are encouraged to donate at least $125. They may sign up pledges to collect more.
The Team MSSUCKS 5-K run starts at 11:30 next Sunday at Davison Road Inn in Lockport. Registration for the run costs $25 in advance, at www.score-this,com or www.buffalorunners.com. There will be a $30 entry fee on the day of the race.
Ashley Greenman, senior manager of community engagement for the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said the goal for the Lockport walk is to raise $47,500. That would be a slight increase, since the Lockport event has brought in an average of $45,000 a year. About 300 people participate each year.
Dwyer said the MSSUCKS 18-hole golf tournament May 31 at the Niagara County Golf Course on Davison Road begins with a shotgun start at noon. The entry fee of $75 includes a hot dog at the turn and dinner after the round.
Dwyer said, “We did the golf tournament last year, and it was a huge success.” It grossed nearly $9,000 for MS research, with a $3,500 net donation after expenses such as the cost of using the course were deducted.