About 200 walk against multiple sclerosis at Ridge Ferry Park
April 7, 2002
Roman Scott Wigley considers himself lucky.
A sufferer of multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease of the nervous system, he said, “There are a lot of people that are worse off than I am.” Wigley and his mother Betty were at Ridge Ferry Park Saturday in support of the MS Walk sponsored by the Rome chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Mrs. Wigley is also the chapter president.
The nationwide walk, in its ninth year in Rome and 15th year in Georgia, raises money for research and services related to the disease.
Teams and individuals receive sponsorship through donations to participate in the walk.
Rome’s walk consisted of a 5-mile course that started at Ridge Ferry Park and traversed Riverside Parkway, Broad Street, Glenn Milner Boulevard and returned to the park.
About 200 people walked the course.
Many MS sufferers, including Wigley, drove their wheelchairs around the course.
Mrs. Wigley said the Rome MS Walk raised $42,000 last year and has a goal of $45,000 this year.
Although totals won’t be available for several weeks, Scott Wigley was in the lead on Saturday for the most dollars raised by an individual — $8,076.
Harbin Clinic had the most team participants.
Mary Creighton, president of the Georgia chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said the state chapter raised $2.2 million last year.
The six MS Walks in Georgia last year raised $500,000.
Other fund-raising events included bicycle rides and a corporate dinner.
The other five host cities for the MS Walk are Macon, Valdosta, Savannah, Marietta and Atlanta.
The organization hopes to add Augusta to the list next year.
“In terms of volunteer coordination, Rome is the most successful in the state,” Creighton said.
Melanie Green, a local volunteer, said, “We are all very blessed. This walk wouldn’t be what it is without Betty (Wigley).
“She organizes everything and sends handwritten thank-you notes to everyone who sponsors her son and to all of the businesses and organizations that donate food or labor for this walk.”
Participants are provided with lunch after the walk.
Georgia Power provides the manpower to prepare food and many local businesses also donate food.
For information about multiple sclerosis or the MS Walks call the Georgia
chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at (800) 822-3379.