MS Walk Team Big Bear (Moose Lodge 2085 & Lions Club of Big Bear)

Besides being Earth Day, today was the MS Walk and what a great walk it was. I don’t have the total figures yet but at least 400 walkers registered in advance. Businesses through out the valley generously donated items so that supporters present could purchase tickets and deposit them for drawings specifically for the gifts.

The morning was cool but fortunately sans the snow and ice present last year. Volunteers began set up last night, and by 6am were busy folding shirts, delivering food and drinks, and directing crowds to registration and refreshment stations. First Aid and snack stations were found in several locations adjacent to the walk and CHP officers were on hand to help direct walkers and stop traffic.

Walkers choose 5k or 8k routes amidst the beautiful Alpine Pedal Path adjacent to Big Bear Lake. Sugar Shane Mosley helped to kick off the festivities along with a color guard. The Debbie Coley Meyer’s team (118 members) arrived with a heavy presence of 80 plus members from around the US. Debbie, diagnosed with MS, was the sister of Fawnskin Mayor Emily Parker and passed away due to the illness in 2004.

Three awards were given out but I had to head out for animal training before discovering all the winners. The most Inspirational Walker was awarded to Loni Emig. Loni has MS but you would never know it. This powerhouse is a whippersnapper with a lovely disposition and smile. I honestly don’t know anyone who isn’t happy to see her or be in her presence. This perky woman is highly active and was inspired to bring a MS event to Big Bear. Her husband, Dave and a whole team of friends and other residents are the vital energy behind this happening. We love you guys!

I talked with Julie from the National MS office and she said Moose Lodge 2085 has just blown away everyone at headquarters. She said staff coveted overseeing this event and were vying for the opportunity. In addition to breaking records and setting a new standard for the MS Walks, I suspect this event will become one of the most popular annual events due to the environment and attitudes of the volunteers and leaders.

My hope is that the valley will really get behind the effort. Since it is a slow time of year it will be a boom to the community. A big kudos to Moose Lodge 2085 and to the Lions Club for making this event such a pleasurable one—and for all the assistance.

Julie is off to the desert for another walk tonight but the rest of the gang will be attending a dinner at the lodge. If you would like to participate in a bake auction—show up after 5:30pm.

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