Members of the team Chuck’s Athletic Supporters rode in this year’s Bike MS: TOYOTA Best Dam Bike Ride, August 4-5. Raising more than $130,000 in pledges, the team was designated one of the event’s Grand Tier Teams, joining three others that committed to raising over $50,000.
The team has now surpassed $1 million in total funds raised throughout the course of its involvement with the Best Dam Bike Ride, which supports multiple sclerosis (MS) research and related services.
“Fifteen years ago we began riding the bike tour as a way to take something back from a disease that was deeply impacting our family,” explained team captain Andy Scherwinski. The team was named for his father, Chuck.
“Thousands of miles and over a million fundraising dollars later, our small group of family and friends continues to fight that same disease, but the ride has become so much more than that. Bike MS gives us a chance to unite, connect with others in a similar situation and most importantly see the direct impact of our efforts on those truly struggling with MS. It gives us hope, and hope keeps us going.”
Scherwinski added that as team captain, he is “eternally grateful and proud” of those who step up and join the team, which has a self-imposed fundraising minimum of $1,000 per person. (Bike MS requires a $300 per person minimum.) He admits that the goal can be daunting initially, but that new team members soon find it to be well worth the extra effort when they see the end result.
“They get it,” he said. “The fight is worth fighting. And until a cure is found, we will continue fighting that same fight that we started 15 years ago, continue taking what we can back from MS and continue to have hope.”
The 29th annual Bike MS: TOYOTA Best Dam Bike Ride brought together nearly 1,700 registered riders and volunteers for the two-day event, which traveled from WCTC in Pewaukee, overnighted at UW-Whitewater, and then finished on Sunday at WPS in Madison. Riders chose from 50-, 75- or 100-mile route options each day, as well as a new 25-mile one-day loop that was open on Saturday. More than $1.2 million has already been pledged, and donations will be accepted until September 14 to achieve the event’s $1.5 million goal.
MS interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving. It is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with MS two to three times more common in women than men. While the progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, advances in research and treatment are giving hope to those affected by the disease.
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