Mustang will host an event on Saturday held by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise funds to support MS research as well as programs and services that impact thousands of Oklahomans living with the disease.
Thousands of people will descend on Wild Horse Park on Saturday morning for ‘Walk MS.’
"We hold seven different walks a year to raise funds for MS research," said Beth Snyder, Development Coordinator for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society based out of Oklahoma City. "For the past couple of years we have held our walk for Oklahoma City at the OKC Zoo, but the event kept growing and we were starting to get limited on space and we needed a different venue that could better accommodate everyone."
Snyder said she heard about another fundraising event that was held in Mustang called the ‘Tour de Cure,’ a cycling event for the American Diabetes Association.
"I saw how well Mustang handled that event and thought about holding our walk at the park," Snyder said. "I talked to my committee about it and we decided to hold it in Mustang this year. It will be our first year here and we are very excited."
Mustang Parks and Recreation Director Justin Battles said the National MS Society contacted the city about six months ago regarding the event.
"They held several site meetings to look over the park," Battles said. "The city will be helping out at the event by providing some road blocks and providing overflow parking on the south end of the ball fields."
This year’s event is expected to draw thousands of people to Mustang, Snyder said.
"Last year we had about 3,000 people at the OKC Zoo for our walk there and we are expecting at least that many people this year," she said.
Anyone is welcome to participate in the walk and participants have until Thursday, May 1 to register online at walkmsok.org. Participants who do not register online can register the morning of the walk at 9 a.m.
Participants will enjoy music and activities, eat complimentary food, tour a fire truck, vote for their favorite team shirt, visit the MS Expo and even play Frisbee golf. Pets are also welcome.
"There is no fee to enter and we will have two walking routes at the park, one short and one long," Snyder said. "One will be 0.6 miles and the other will be 1.3 miles. The average walker will raise about $225. A lot of people like to form teams with their families and co-workers for this event."
A morning, indoor program will start at 9:40 a.m. at Town Center before the walk begins at 10 a.m. Participants will be able to walk until 1 p.m.
Snyder said the National MS Society is hoping everyone in the area can make it to the event.
"The Society has set a goal to raise $160,000 this year from Oklahoma City area partners and participants to drive research for a cure and support vital programs and services that serve more than 11,200 Oklahomans affected by multiple sclerosis, including more than 3,700 diagnosed with the disease," she said.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. It interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with the disease. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.
Through ‘Walk MS’ in Mustang on Saturday, the National MS Society is hoping to raise funds to achieve a world free of MS.
"This event will allow the community to get together and have fun while raising money for those who have been affected," Snyder said.
For more information about the National MS Society, visit them at nationalMSsociety.org.