National Multiple Sclerosis Society Greater North Jersey Chapter To Host 18th Annual MS Walk

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Greater North Jersey Chapter of the National MS Society MS Walk. Sunday, April 23, 2006, 10:00AM - 2:00PM.

Registration is underway for the Greater North Jersey Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 18th Annual MS Walk. The Walk is scheduled for Sunday, April 23rd, 10:00 am to 2:00pm. This year’s Walk allows participants to choose one of ten different routes in seven counties throughout the northern part of the state. Some of the new routes this year include Andover, Mt. Olive, Roxbury and Wayne. Scenic walking routes have been planned for Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Hudson, Morris, Union and Essex counties.

“The MS Walk is one of our largest fundraisers and provides almost 1/3 of our annual income. These funds are needed to support the programs and services that help over 5,000 New Jersey residents and their families living with MS,” said Frank M. Lesher, Chapter President. “It’s a great way for people to have a day of fun, support a worthy cause, and know they will be making a difference in the lives of so many.”

The Chapter has over 130 teams already registered for the event, and over 1,000 walkers. Participants may walk individually, or form a “team” of family, friends and co-workers. Walkers must raise a minimum of $50. Last year, the average walker raised $262 or more.

“We are looking forward to a record turnout and raising more than the $1 Million we raised last year”, said Lia Crocco, this year’s Walk Ambassador. Lia lives in Nutley and was diagnosed with MS in 2000. Before her diagnosis, Lia’s first symptom was blurry vision but an MRI ruled out MS. Then, for several weeks she experienced numbness in both of her legs. Ultimately a spinal tap confirmed the diagnosis of MS. Lia has been married for 2 years and has a one year old son. When she began participating in the MS Walk in 2000, it was just with a few close friends and relatives. Since then her team has grown to 58 members and she has raised over $37,000. “I want to find a cure for MS in my lifetime, especially now that I am a wife and a mother. This year as ambassador, I hope to recruit even more walkers and channel my enthusiasm to them.” said Lia.

The chapter now offers online registration. Walkers interested in participating can visit the chapter website at http://www.njbnmss.org where they can find detailed information including directions and routes. The website also provides a tool to send emails to friends and family asking for support as well as downloads such as walker kits, sponsorship letters and pledge sheets.

The Greater North Jersey Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society MS Walk is sponsored in part by the generous contributions of Applebee’s Restaurant, North Jersey Media Group (The Record & Herald News), The Daily Record, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Berlex, Ingersoll-Rand, Wyeth, Pfizer, Latham & Watkins, Hackensack Radiology Group, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, First Jersey Credit Union and Ronetco ShopRite.

The following are MS Walk routes in the seven participating counties:

Bergen County:    

Ridgewood – Graydon Pool

Essex County:

Roseland – Becker Farms

Hudson County:

Jersey City - Liberty State Park

Morris County:

New Location! Mount Olive – Chester Stephens School    

New Location! Parsippany – Mack-Cali Corporate Business Campus

New Location! Roxbury – Horseshoe Lake Park

Sussex County

New Location! Andover – Kittatinny Valley State Park    

Passaic County:

New Location! Ringwood - The Botanical Gardens at Ringwood State Park

New Location! Wayne – Wayne Valley Regional High School

Union County:

Cranford, - Nomehegan Park

For further information, or to register, go to http://www.njbnmss.org or call 1-800-FIGHT-MS.

The mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Located in Paramus, New Jersey, the Greater North Jersey Chapter serves Northern New Jersey in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren counties. It provides over 100 programs and services to over 5,000 people with multiple sclerosis, their families and caregivers, all of whom are dealing daily with the physical and emotional challenges of the disease. It also supports the national research effort to find the cause, treatments and cure for MS. The chapter is part of the NMSS's 50-state network of 63 chapters. The Greater North Jersey Chapter may be reached by phone at (201) 967-5599 or on its web site at http://www.njbnmss.org

Press Contact:    Rob Schaublin (973) 523-5141

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