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MS Society to salute volunteers, walkers

In 1991, within one year of her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, Denise Hadley, West Jordan, began raising money for research into the disease by participating in the annual MS Walk.

"Every year since, she has been a top fund-raiser," said Christine J. Meiser, public relations spokeswoman for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Utah State Chapter. "This year Hadley raised $2,008 on her own to help fight MS."Today Hadley, other individual volunteers and a team of walkers will be honored by the chapter for their hard work. The occasion is the annual chapter meeting and volunteer luncheon at the Holiday Inn, 999 S. Main.

"This is an important time for the Utah chapter," said chapter president Tami Featherstone.

"At the annual meeting we elect a board of trustees comprised of community/business leaders who will guide the chapter, and we take time to honor people from throughout the state who have helped the Utah chapter come closer to reaching its main goal: to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis."

The disease is a chronic ailment of the central nervous system believed to affect about 330,000 Americans. The Utah chapter raises money for research into the cause and cure and to provide free services to Utahns living with MS.

Services that the group provides include physical and hydro therapy, counseling, equipment that members can borrow, support groups, orientation classes for those recently diagnosed, social and recreation programs and a chapter newsletter.

Honored this year are: Hadley, noted for her work as an individual MS Walk fund-raiser; Marsha Okerlund, outstanding central Utah volunteer; Fred Lohengel, Cedar City volunteer; Michele Hornby, Utah County volunteer; Beverly Griggs, Salt Lake volunteer; Earl McNees, Salt Lake fund-raising volunteer; "The Mayor's Own" MS Walk fund-raising team; "Team Tinderbox," MS Bike Tour fund-raising team; Brad Weinfeld, MS Bike Tour individual fund-raiser.

This is the second year in a row Team Tinderbox, led by Fred Cvar of Salt Lake City, has won the bike team award. The team raised more than $14,000 in pledges in the two-day bike tour.

McNees, a West Jordan resident, has "volunteered countless hours at this year's two main fund-raisers for the Utah chapter, the MS Walk and the MS 150 Bike Tour," said Meiser. He was inspired to the effort by the fact that several relatives and friends live with MS, she said.