More MS news articles for Sep 2001

Annual bike ride expects to raise $450,000 for MS

By Nammi Bhagvandoss
Globe Staff Writer

Organizers of the 17th annual Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 150 Bike Tour are expecting at least $450,000 in pledges during this weekend’s fund-raiser.

A total of 805 bicyclists participated in the bike tour that began Saturday morning at Republic High School and will end this afternoon at Baxter Springs, Kan., High School.

Many of the participants were expected to camp in and out of Joplin High School Saturday night.

The bike tour was expected to travel this morning to Neosho, Racine and Seneca in Missouri before going into a part of Oklahoma and then ending this afternoon at Baxter Springs.

Debbie Bevan, branch manager of the Ozark Branch-Mid America Chapter of the National MS Society in Springfield, said although riders expect $450,000 in pledges, they may actually collect up to $500,000 by the time the pledges are due on Oct. 12.

The fund-raising bicyclists range in age from 5 years old to 79 years old and they live in the Ozarks region including Joplin, Springfield and Mount Vernon.

Some riders also live in Oklahoma, Arkansas and the Kansas City area.

Bevan said Barbara Boone of Houston, Texas, flew in to participate in the bike tour.

Boone’s twin sister, Trish Ayers of Ozark, has MS.

Boone and Trish Ayers’ husband, Kent, are among “Team Trish” whose goal is to raise $20,000.

Eighteen people are on The Empire District Electric Co.’s team called “Team Empire.”

Bevan said seven people are on the Neosho Holy Smoke’n Rollers and most of them are first-time participants.

Six people are on Mount Vernon’s “Cooperiders;” 19 people are on Aurora’s “Studebikers;” and five people are on Tamko’s “Roof Riders.”

“You don’t have to be on a team to ride,” Bevan added. Bicyclists may ride as individuals.

Participants paid a $35 registration fee. Each rider had to raise $150 in minimum pledges to participate in the bike tour.

Bevan said 1,011 people registered for this year’s bike tour, but 805 are actually participating.

Last year, 940 people registered, 740 people participated and raised $436,000 in actual pledges.

Peter Herschend of Branson raised an estimated $88,000 for the bike tour last year, and he’s expected to raise a similar amount this year.

Leigh Reynolds, the Mid-America Chapter of the National MS Society at Kansas City, said 15 percent of the gross in pledges will pay for costs associated with the bike tour.

Of the net in pledges, Reynolds said, 60 percent will stay in the local community and 40 percent will go to the national level for research.

Bevan said the Springfield branch covers 26 counties in Southwest Missouri and Bourbon, Cherokee and Crawford counties in Kansas.

The official purposes of the bike tour include raising money to support research projects and client programs for people with MS and educating people with MS about new drug therapies that are available to them, according to past news statements.

All content ©2001 The Joplin Globe