More MS news articles for April 2001

2001 BP MS 150 -- Sporting Event is Largest Ever

More Than 9,000 Cyclists Expected to Pedal From Houston to Austin

Wednesday April 18  5:26pm
Source: BusinessWire

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2001--The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Lone Star Chapter has announced that the largest sporting event held annually in Houston -- the BP MS 150 Bike Tour -- will top all records set by past years' events when it takes off on Saturday, April 21, 2001. More than 9,000 enthusiastic cyclists are registered to pedal the 175 miles from Houston to Austin. These "road warriors" are ordinary citizens, not superstar athletes -- most have not ridden a bike in years. All share one goal: to raise funds to find the cause and cure of Multiple Sclerosis. The 2001 BP MS 150 Bike Tour is expected to continue to break previous fund-raising records. The 2000 event raised a record-level $3.4 million, and event coordinators are aiming to rise in excess of $3.5 million this year.

Record-breaking numbers have been set by corporate teams, with Team BP surging ahead this past week to take the No. 1 spot with more than 550 riders, an increase from its 130 members in 2000. By doing so, Team BP has surpassed perennial leader Team Enron, who has 475 riders registered. Team Enron carries the distinction of being the nation's top MS 150 fund-raiser. This year's tour is slated to be the largest in the event's exciting 17-year history. The Houston ride represents the largest MS 150 in the nation and the city's largest non-profit sporting event.

The Houston-to-Austin bike tour will take riders along the beautiful Texas Hill Country on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, 2001, precisely when the wildflowers are in brightest bloom. Commencing at sunrise, the starting line at Tully Stadium in Houston (I-10 and Dairy Ashford) will lead riders to La Grange for an overnight stay and then to the finish line at Disch-Falk Field (Martin Luther King and I35 in Austin).

The BP MS 150 attracts participants of all ages, from diverse backgrounds and with varying ties to the event. Riders run the gamut, ranging in age from six to 82 and participating at all levels of physical condition and cycling experience. Many cyclists participate to support their friends and loved ones who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Others participate as members of corporate-sponsored teams, and many cyclists participate on an individual basis.

The beneficiaries of this ride are thousands of individuals with MS and the nation's leading research teams. Currently, MS research spending is nearly $30 million (FYO1) supporting more than 300 MS investigations. Current and future research commitments exceeding $40 million are being addressed. Since 1947, when the first three grants were awarded, the cumulative investment has been $290 million.

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The Lone Star Chapter, chartered in 1955, serves more than 11,600 individuals in 143 Texas counties who are affected by multiple sclerosis. Services include information and referrals, equipment loans, education programs, caring and wellness programs, emergency financial assistance, self-help groups, research updates and clinical and peer support programs. The chapter works closely with the medical community to enhance MS knowledge and treatment. While there is no cure, three FDA-approved medications can significantly reduce the number of acute attacks and delay the onset of permanent disabilities. All funds are privately raised and 83 cents of every dollar are used to benefit people affected by multiple sclerosis.

Stevens Group, Houston
Melissa Stevens, 713/840-0555 or 214/219-5222