Letter written by a WSPTA member (editted for content):
Six years ago I discovered a great cause that was certainly worth supporting; The MS Walk. MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis, which is an auto-immune disease that affects oneís Central Nervous System. The result of being diagnosed with such a disease varies from person to person. I once heard someone refer to MS as a snowflake disease for there are no two snowflakes 100 percent alike. Washington houses one of the largest populations of people with MS. Research thinks this has something to do with the northern latitudes. My wife and I decided to get involved in the fundraising portion to help find a cure and assist those battling the devastating effects of the disease. The effects of the disease can range from tingling in limbs, poor balance, loss of or distortion of vision, loss of coordination, and too many other things to name.
In 2000 my wife and I, and several others participated in the Seattle MS Walk at Husky Stadium. It was a super event and affirmed that the money raised was put to good use. 85 cents of every dollar raised is channeled into helping others and finding a cure. I quickly learned that donating money to the correct place is vitally important when fundraising and the National MS Society- Greater Washington Chapter is the right place in this instance. In 2000, we raised several hundred dollars and overall the various MS Walk sites in Washington raised over 1 million dollars.
Since our inaugural walk in 2000 we have walked every year and like many things in life it has only gotten better with time. In 2001 I approached the Washington State Trooperís Association (WSPTA) for some assistance in the arena of donations. Without hesitation my request was granted. I must say that the amount of money given by the WSPTA was very generous, but more importantly was the fact that the leadership gave so quickly. An act such as this goes a long way in my books and is never forgotten.
To date the WSPTA has supported the MS Walk every year. Since 2002 Iíve had an official team of walkers. The team is named Miles for Myelin. Myelin is the portion of the Central Nervous System attacked by the disease. The walk, unlike other fundraisers, is not about walking as many miles as possible. There are many participants affected by the disease and they are unable to walk for long periods of time. As a result the walk route is typically around 3 miles. I tell people the day of the walk is similar to a family affair in which every fundraiser (family member) comes together to have a good time. Itís truly a fun event.
In April of 2006 Miles for Myelin had the best team turn out ever: 28 walkers. Such a turn out qualified us for a team tent (20 plus walkers and a commitment to raise 5000.00 dollars). Of the 28 walkers were 5 employees of the Washington State Patrol. The involvement of coworkers meant a great deal to me. The WSPTA stepped up their contribution! This absolutely blew me away and in my opinion a million thank yous would not be enough.
I am so grateful for the WSPTAís help as is every person affected by MS. There is absolutely no way medicine could advance without the help of millions of generous donations. Those donations would never ever be collected without teamwork. In the past six years my wife, her family, my family, and many friends have formed a truly unique bond and to be perfectly honest itís addicting to help others. Iím sure if you asked the WSPTA they would tell you the same. I will continue to participate in the MS Walk and I know the WSPTA will always stand behind me. My true desire is to have a team of 50 walkers and bear the WSPTA letters on our team shirts!
Lastly, I want to extend my thanks to the WSPTA Executive Staff and every contributing member and supporter of the WSPTA for it is every last one of you that makes us an Association and helped every person affected by this devastating disease.
District 7 Detachment