WEST ALEXANDRIA — The annual Preble County Multiple Sclerosis benefit walk was held at West Alexandria’s Peace Park on Saturday, May 20. Organized by Tanya Oglesby, the walk is meant to bring awareness to the disease which affects approximately 250,000 to 350,000 people in the United States.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. The cause of the disease is still unknown, but scientists believe it is triggered by some as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond.
The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease.
This year’s benefit walk featured free food in the park, a raffle and concerts at the gazebo. Nashville country Singer Ashley Taylor performed at the event. Kelly Crank, Hooter Johnson, Tommy Keith, and Chuck Grantz also performed an acoustic set together.
Crank has a special relationship to MS, as she was diagnosed with the disease when she was 21 years old. She has been on Aubagio, a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of MS, for the past two years. She is a return performer at West Alexandria’s MS walk and describes MS as a “huge passion” of hers.
She enjoys performing at the MS walk because it is designed to raise money for a cure.
“It brings people together and they see that there’s more out there then just everyday living. There’s people out there living with this disease every day. There’s people that are coping with it and having problems. I think that raising money for it is such a great cause,” she added.
The raffle was a huge event, with donations worth $4,500. Donations were made by Jamie’s Alley Cuts, O’Reily’s Auto Parts, The Enchanted Peasant, Wanda Devilbiss, Dollar Tree, Summit Chiropractic, Cheryl Scheiding, Fresh Idea Hair Salon, Old English Outfitters, Twin Valley Animal Hospital, Victoria Secrets, Dayton Dragons, Warm & Glow Candles, Sherwin Willliams, NAPA Auto Parts, Twin Valley South Panthers, Eaton Anytime Fitness, Eaton Floral, Brubaker Grain, Heidi’s Razor & Barbershop, Richmond IHOP, Jerry’s Pizza, John’s Tire Service, Richmond Lowe’s, Marathon, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Preble County YMCA, Red Lobster, Sarah’s Pizza, Stockslagers Garden Center, Texas Roadhouse, The Village Inn, and many more.
Everyone participating in the walk was encouraged to raise support and awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ohio Valley Chapter prior to the event.
All money raised will benefit National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ohio Valley Chapter: Preble County. In 2016, the West Alexandria MS walked raised $2,557 for research and 45 people participated.
At press time, the amount raised during the 2017 MS walk was not available.
This is the fourth year Oglesby has organized this walk for Preble County.
“It helps bring awareness out for the community,” she said. “It also helps people who do have MS get medicines out to them. Not only does it help bring awareness to Preble County, but it also leaves a good impression on the county.
“I would like to thank all the local sponsors,” she added. “The West Alexandria Shell station has been a big help, St. John’s Church, the CERTS people, Ashley Taylor from Nashville, Buckeye Jake’s, and everybody who donated for the raffle.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH