April 17, 2002
By: Andy Bromage, Staff Writer
Fundraisers will take to the streets of Clinton on April 21 to raise money for a debilitating disease during the annual Bayer Multiple Sclerosis Walk.
Guilford resident Conni Stone will be among the 67 walkers in the Bluebirds, a team of walkers from Madison, Guilford and Clinton walking in memory of Kathy Jacobsen Keating, a friend who died in 2000 from complications with MS.
Although she herself is afflicted with MS, Stone considers herself relatively lucky.
"I have a mild case and I am able to do most of the things I want to do," Stone said. "My progression has been limited, hardly worse than when I was diagnosed."
The Bluebirds' membership has skyrocketed in the last four years, from 25 to 67 walkers. Last year, the Bluebirds walked to raise $14,400, earning them national recognition as the 106th highest earning team in the nation.
The goal for the Clinton MS walk is to have more than 600 walkers raise $80,000. The statewide goal is to have 5,600 walkers raise $910,000.
The team was named in honor of an effort dear to Keating's heart, a movement to bring bluebirds back to Connecticut. With the help of family and friends, Keating built and mounted several bluebird houses all over the state, which has helped to bring about a significant resurgence in the state's bluebird populations.
The annual Bayer MS Walk is presented by the Greater Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Proceeds from the walk will benefit multiple sclerosis research offered by the MS Chapter to 12,000 residents affected by the disease.
The CT MS Society also hosts a two-day, bike-riding fundraiser at the end of each summer. The journey takes bikers from Hammonasset Beach State Park east to Moodus and back again. Several Bluebird walkers also participate in the bike ride, according to Stone.
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system affecting over 300,000 Americans.
The walk will start at 9 a.m., and offers participants 2.5 or 5-mile walk routes beginning and ending at Morgan High School. Food, drink and prizes for the most money raised will be provided to participants.
To register, or for more information, call (860) 953-0601 or visit http://www.ctmss.org
©Shore Line Times 2002