July 2012 MS Connections
Quarterly Newsletter of the National MS Society, Colorado-Wyoming Chapter.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Connection Moving Toward a World Free of MS July 2012 Colorado-Wyoming Chapter Getting Dirty to End MS p. 7 MuckRuckus Registration is Open! Inside MS Connection: Fall Luncheons page 3 Climbing to New Heights page 6 Wyoming Close Encounters Ride Grand Junction Store Rocks 1-800 FIGHTpage MS (344-4867) â€˘ www.cureMSco-wy.org 8 page 10 1 From the President National Multiple Sclerosis Society Colorado-Wyoming Chapter Dear Friends: We are in the height of summer and once again our annual signature fundraising events are in full swing. This is always a very rewarding time as people come together throughout Colorado and Wyoming to raise funds that support programs and advance the Society’s vital research efforts. As I travel and meet with Chapter supporters, I am always moved by another aspect of these efforts— the power of connecting. Now is an ideal time to remember that we are a Society and you are an essential part of it. Our strength comes from people developing relationships, sharing stories and connecting on many levels each and every day. Through engagement we are able to help and learn from each other, find solutions and raise awareness, all of which drive our work and mission forward. ________________ “Our strength comes from people developing relationships, sharing stories and connecting on many levels each and every day.” As anyone affected by MS knows, this disease does not come with a manual. While everyone faces unique challenges, there is no reason to face these challenges alone. By participating in your Society you have access to a wealth of people who know firsthand the impact of MS, as well as a spectrum of resources that can assist and empower you. ________________ The Society has many experts available to answer your questions and navigate systems that can save you time and ease frustration. Reaching out and asking for help is not a weakness, it is strength and I encourage each of you to take advantage of the significant resources available through the National MS Society and your local Colorado-Wyoming Chapter. People who receive support today may become tomorrow’s givers. There is no time like the present to connect, step up your involvement and benefit from being part of a society committed to a world free of MS. Carrie H. Nolan Chapter President MS Connection is published by the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, National MS Society 900 S. Broadway, Suite 250 Denver, CO 80209 Info: 800 FIGHT MS (344-4867) Newsletter Distribution—If you have a change of address or would like to receive MS Connection electronically, please call 800-344-4867. If you or someone you know has MS—Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for many people with multiple sclerosis. Talk to your health care professional, or contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about the current research that may one day reveal a cure. The NMSS does not endorse products, services or manufacturers. Such names appear here solely because they are considered valuable information. The NMSS assumes no liability for the use of contents of any product or service mentioned. Information provided by the NMSS is based on professional advice and expert opinion. Information provided in response to questions do not constitute therapeutic recommendations or prescriptions. The NMSS recommends that all questions and information be discussed with a personal physician. The NMSS is dedicated to a world free of MS. Chapter President Carrie H. Nolan Board of Trustees Brandt Wilkins, Chair Mary Hobson, Immediate Past Chair Kathryn Spritzer, Secretary Rob Hartnett, Treasurer Carl Berglind Whit Conant Elizabeth Brandon Coors John Corboy, MD David Cordova Claudia Curry Hill Chris Doerr Jeff Higgins Craig Lopez Kyle Ocasek Susan Pollard Richard Raymond, MD Randy Schapiro, MD Michele Vaughan Jo Wilson Emeritus Trustees George Garmany, MD Ralph Holden David Lord Janet Savage 2 MS Connection • Summer 2012 ©2012 National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Colorado-Wyoming Chapter Moving Toward a World Free of MS Programs Development David Osmond to Rock Denver Luncheon The annual MS on the Move luncheons are driven by passionate volunteers with the goal of raising funds for and developing awareness of MS. The funds raised support programs and services for the 88,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming that are affected by MS. These extraordinary events are held annually in three communities across Colorado: Denver, Fort Collins and Aspen. The Denver Luncheon is proud to host David Osmond as the keynote speaker on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. David Osmond, nephew of Donny and Marie Osmond, was 26 when the first MS symptoms struck. After being forced to put his music career on hold, David returned to the spotlight and was featured on American Idol in 2009. He is now raising awareness and resources for the MS community with a hopeful message of overcoming adversity. David credits a favorite saying of his father Alan, who also has MS—“I may have MS but MS does not have me”—with helping him get back on stage. KYGO Morning Show Host Kelly Ford will emcee the event, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Denver (new location). Tickets are $125 and can be purchased online at www.blacktie-colorado.com/ rsvp (enter event code: MS911) or by calling 303-698-5405. Table Captains and event sponsors are also needed. For more information on how you and/or your business can get more involved with this important event, please call 303-698-5405. MS On the Move Luncheon Dates Denver MS on the Move Aspen MS on the Move Northern Colorado Women on the Move The Grand Hyatt Denver The Little Nell Hilton Fort Collins Tuesday, September 11, 2012 Friday, July 20, 2012 Thursday, September 13, 2012 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost: $125 Cost: $75 Cost: Free Golden Circle Members The Chapter would like to thank the following members of the Golden Circle Club for supporting vital MS programs, services and research through generous donations made from February 2012 to May 2012. Thomas Angell William Ansteth Kristen Arstingstall Ted Ashcroft Brian Atwood William Barrett Dr. Frank Barry Tim Beaudin Greg Belfor Ruth Benton Susan Burke Kevin Cartin Cellar Family Foundation Elizabeth and Jon Chenoweth Phillip and Marje Clark Bryan Close Max Cohen Richard and Marsha Cole Cynda Collins Arsenault Elizabeth Brandon Coors Jacqueline Cotshott Dr. Carl and Ondine Craig Gage Crispe Shirley Cummings Michael Dean Scott Dumpert Ryan Edwards Michael Frisoli Brian and Holly Fritz Julie Gibson Todd Goldman The Griffin Foundation Bradley and Melissa Gustafson Joe Hartnett Todd and Marie Hauer Chad Hester Tricia Hewitt Helen Hideshima David Huff Lynn Hurster Daniel Katz Carol Keller Michael Kelly Kenneth Kline R B Kolbe Joseph Kopchik DeeAnna and Edwin Kraft John and Judith Lanning James Lippman Mary and Steven Locke Craig Lopez David Lord Arthur Lovetere Gene Markley Elaine Martinez Richard and D’Ann Masaki Lee and Carol Mather Yvonne McCallum Lisa Ann Minton Debie and Paul Monax Frank and Sandra Monteiro Deb and Chris Munley Mark Murphy Jill and David Myers Edward and Barbara Netter Foundation Inc David and Katie Nichols Carrie Nolan Kyle and Sarah Ocasek David Ottewell The Ozmen Family Kerry and William Penny Jean and Peter Petrillo D L Pickering Susan Pollard Mary and Thomas Pond Jane Quinette Kathleen Quinn-Dea Muthukumarappan Ramurthy Dr. Richard and Jane Raymond Nancy Richardson Blair Richardson Curt Richardson David Roitman Annetta and Roy Schwalm Kathryn and Howard Schwartz Dr. Mark Schwartz Dr. William and Kristi Shaffer Mary Shanahan Alessio Signorini Silver Family Donor Advised Fund Edward Smith Carol and George Solich Kathryn and Marc Spritzer Leonard and Angela Stegman Gary and Teresa Stewart Michael Stewart John Svoboda Jeanne Thomas Kevin and Sue Vaughan James Veldkamp Kay Wagner Bruce and Toni Walkowski James Warren Jo Wilson Wilson Family Foundation W.F. Winkler David and Carol Wood John Woollam Arthur and Janet Worrall Steve Yastrow Phil Yastrow Shelby and Sybil Yastrow 1-800 FIGHT 800 FIGHT MS (344-4867) MS (344-4867) • www.cureMSco-wy.org • cureMSco-wy.org 3 Programs Living With MS Beat the Heat—Cool Down Tips Assistance Available for Adaptive Equipment Summertime in the Rockies means different things to different people. For kids, it’s a welcome break from school. For gardeners, it’s a happily frenzied time of planting and weeding. However, for some people living with MS, it can be a miserable season when symptoms are magnified and worsened by the heat of the summer sun. Even a slight elevation in body temperature can result in temporary sight impairment, greater fatigue, increased tremors, and memory impairment. Though these heataggravated symptoms are often short-lived, they are at best uncomfortable and at worst life altering. Those who suffer in the heat can be reassured that despite soaring temperatures, relief can be found by making a few small environment and lifestyle changes: ■■ Wear cold, damp towels around your neck or wrists, sit in a cool bath, close your home’s blinds or curtains against the incoming sun, and suck on ice chips or Popsicles. ■■ Stay hydrated with non-caffeinated beverages such as cold water or diluted fruit juice. Caffeine can increase dehydration, making the effects of heat feel worse. Refrigerate a water-filled pitcher with cucumber, orange, or lemon slices overnight for an extra boost of flavor and refreshment. 4 MS Connection • Summer 2012 ■■ Keep a spray bottle of water nearby for an occasional spray on your face and neck. For an even more invigorating experience, try adding a drop or two of peppermint or eucalyptus, or soak a sprig of rosemary in the bottle overnight. ■■ Try products such as cooling pillows, which are available for purchase online or in some stores, for nighttime relief. Additionally, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) has a grant program through which clients can apply for assistance with obtaining cooling items to be worn under or over clothing, including vests, collars, hat inserts, wrist and ankle wraps. To donate or learn more about MSAA’s cooling equipment distribution, visit their website at www.msassociation.org. ! Financial assistance for high utility bills or to purchase an air conditioning unit is available through the Chapter’s financial assistance program for those who qualify. To learn more, call 1-800-344-4867 option 1. Following these tips can make even the hottest summer day feel more tolerable, and even enjoyable. To find more tips for beating the heat or about research related to impacts of heat, visit www.nationalmssociety.org and search “heat.” Moving Toward a World Free of MS Programs& Services Programs Advocacy Update: Xcel Tiered Summer Rates Xcel Energy’s tiered rates for residential customers go into effect June 1 – September 30 and are designed to promote energy conservation, enabling Xcel to meet growing electrical demands. Tiered rates allow Xcel to bill monthly residential electrical usage above 500 killowatts at a higher rate. A person living with MS consumes 1400 kwh on average during summer months. it’s a health necessity for a majority of people living with MS. Help us keep this issue in front of the PUC by writing a letter to the PUC and acting on advocacy requests related to this issue. For more information, contact Sharon O’Hara, executive vice president, at email@example.com or call 303-698-5422. If you need help paying your utilities, call 1-800-344-4867 and we will assist you with the process and provide a financial assistance application. The Chapter strongly advocates that no one living with MS should be penalized with higher electrical rates due to their medical needs. This spring, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved an interim plan which allows tiered rate medical exemptions based on means testing. Fort Collins Utilities Update Fort Collins City Council voted for tiered summer pricing, but allowed for a medical exemption if residents met certain income requirements. For more details or assistance in applying, contact Dolores Kueffler at 970-482-5016. As the Beat the Heat article highlights, electrical use to stay cool or for life support assistance is not a matter of conservation— The Chapter encourages you to write your city council person and thank him or her for recognizing a community need. SSDI Application Assistance is Available What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)? Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a federal insurance program. It is not a welfare program, because individuals pay into the system through taxes withheld from their paycheck. SSDI provides cash benefits to replace some of the income that a person living with MS might no longer earn due to disability. It can give people living with MS the resources they need to remain active and involved in their community. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, a person living with MS must: ■■ Have worked and paid enough Social Security taxes (FICA). ■■ Have a severe disability that is caused by disease or injury severe enough to prevent them from working at any job. ■■ Have a severe disability that is expected to result in death or has lasted, or is expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months. For more information on SSDI, visit: www.ssa.gov/d&s1.htm. Before filling out an application, we recommend contacting the chapter and meeting with a Care Manager who can provide important information on the process and assistance with filling out the application. Avoid being denied—call 1-800-344-4967 option 1 today. The service is free and available to anyone considering applying for SSDI. 1-800 FIGHT MS (344-4867) • www.cureMSco-wy.org 5 HikeMS2012 Climbing to New Heights Hiking for a World Free of MS ® Change your altitude about MS while enjoying Colorado’s beautiful high country by participating in Hike MS at Copper Mountain Resort on Saturday, July 28, or at Winter Park on Saturday, September 1. These family-friendly locations feature well-marked trails over varying levels of terrain in addition to plenty of snacks, water, lunch and support. This marks the third year Copper Mountain Resort has hosted Hike MS. Make a weekend of it and take advantage of the full schedule of resort activities, including mountain boarding, mini golf and bike rentals. On Friday night, check into lodging and join the Chapter for happy hour and live entertainment by Honey Don’t on the Burning Stones Plaza, followed by the family-friendly movie, “Dolphin Tale,” under the stars. Following Hike MS on Saturday, unwind and relax with more live music on the plaza by Rob Drabkin. At Winter Park, Hike MS takes place at Grand Park Properties, located just west of Winter Park town. This beautiful and spacious location gives us the flexibility to create trails and a base camp perfectly suited to our hikers. Participants of all ability levels are welcome at Hike MS. Each location features three different route options—families will enjoy a leisurely two-mile hike on our Green Route, while experienced hikers can choose the more advanced five-mile Blue Route or take the challenge of our 10-mile Black Diamond Route. The $30 registration fee includes a continental breakfast, a custom Hike MS T-shirt, snacks and rest stops along the route, and a post-hike BBQ lunch. Each hiker is required to raise a minimum $50 in donations. Top fundraisers are awarded with great prizes and incentives, and membership in fundraising clubs. Register at www.hikeMScolorado.org or call 1-800-344-4867! 6 MS Connection • Summer 2012 Colorado Hike MS Saturday, July 28, 2012 Copper Mountain Resort Registration opens: 7 a.m. Hike begins: 8 a.m. Saturday, September 1, 2012 Grand Park (next to the Fraser Valley Recreation Center) in Fraser Registration opens: 8 a.m. Hike begins: 9 a.m. For lodging information , call the Copper Mountain reservation s ce 1-866-837-2 nter at 99 mention “H 6 and ike MS.” MuckRuckusMS2012 It’s Dirty Work Ending MS… MuckRuckus MS Makes it Fun Help us make a ruckus at MuckRuckus MS Colorado, at Grand Park, near Winter Park on August 4. MuckRuckus MS Colorado is an unforgettable outdoor challenge course event where participants travel three or five miles completing “Wipeout” inspired obstacles while sloshing through water and muck. Anyone five years old and older can get dirty for a good cause! Participants 12 years old by the day of the event can run the main course while kids 5-11 years old can get muddy in the Kids’ Zone, an area with pint-sized mud obstacles! You can REGISTER FOR FREE when you join the Free Mucker program by recruiting three people to participate in MuckRuckus MS Colorado. To join the Free Mucker Program, use discount code “freemucker” during registration, then start recruiting your friends and family! Each recruit must identify you as a referral during the registration process and all three recruits must be registered by July 20. Free Mucker program participants who have not recruited three participants by July 20 will be required to pay a $65 registration fee at check-in. Also new to the event is the Rapid Ruckers program, where participants can compete to win a trip to the 2012 MuckRuckus MS Atlanta on October 6, 2012. The fastest male and female in the competitive division will win one Frontier Airline ticket, hotel accommodations and registration for the 2012 MuckRuckus MS Atlanta. For specific details of the Rapid Ruckers program, please refer to our website at www.MuckRuckusMS.org/Colorado. Register at www.MuckRuckusMS.org/Colorado and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MuckRuckusMScolorado A Fresh Way to End MS Forever MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists so it doesn’t, and MAD Greens— Inspired Eats has joined the movement to help end MS forever. As a proud sponsor of the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, MAD Greens supports vital MS programs, services and research. MAD Greens will donate 20% of your total order to the National MS Society when you mention this promotion from June 15 to August 31. You too can join the movement by visiting MAD Greens and enjoying a fresh and healthy meal. And, make sure to enjoy the new MuckRuckus MS salad during your next visit! MAD Greens is the proud presenting sponsor of the premier mud endurance event in Colorado—MuckRuckus MS. 1-800 FIGHT MS (344-4867) • www.cureMSco-wy.org 7 Programs & Services Men Living with MS to Gather at Mile High The Chapter is hosting a free men’s-only program—“Kicking at the Uprights: The Male MS Challenge”—at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in September to address the challenges of living with a life-changing disease. This program will specifically address the needs of men living with MS, and will feature speakers and an interactive panel discussion. Topics will range from employment issues and relationships to health and financial planning and more. The keynote speaker, Jack Llewellyn, Ph. D., is a world-renowned sports psychology consultant who lives with MS. Dr. Llewellyn will speak about what it means to have MS and the challenges it can create throughout life. He will discuss the same approaches and strategies to life changes used by world famous athletes to properly assess their abilities, correctly focus on the right processes to reach goals, thrive on stress, and recover quickly from adversity in order to become top performers. Llewellyn has worked with players from the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and New York Mets, and many others turning average seasons into winning seasons. The program will bring men together from around Colorado and Wyoming for lunch and a lively discussion, as well as door prizes and photo opportunities on the field. What: Where: When: RSVP: “Kicking at the Uprights: the Male MS Challenge” Sports Authority Field at Mile High—Home Media Room Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. www.curemsco-wy.org or 1-800-344-4867 option 1 Free Parking, Program & Lunch BikeMS2012 Ride Where the Buffalo Roam The Bike MS Close Encounters Ride 2012 begins and ends in Sundance, Wyoming after routing through beautiful Northern Wyoming and the Black Hills of South Dakota on August 18 and 19. Day One of the ride includes a breathtaking view of Devil’s Tower, our country’s first national monument and where “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was filmed. A hearty dinner, entertainment and an inspiring awards celebration caps the day. Day Two features a tour of the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota with a lunch stop in Spearfish. A hot breakfast will be served, as well as lunch and dinner on both days of the Ride. The Ride is supported with a clearly marked route, fully-stocked rest stops every 10-13 miles, incredible meals, bike mechanics, medical staff, police support, SAG wagons, massage therapists, and great volunteers! Participants also receive a custom Ride T-shirt and a finish medal. Registration is open! The fee is $35 for individuals and a minimum donation of $250. Visit www.bikeMSwyoming.org and select “Wyoming Ride Information” for additional details. 8 MS Connection Ride to the Top— Get Great Prizes Be a top fundraiser in 2012 and receive special benefits and recognition at the 2013 Bike MS events! Premium Pedaler Club Raise $1000-$1999 High Roller Club Raise $2000+ Top 100 Club Tour of Champions Raise $11,000 and become a Champion in advancing the Society’s mission. Along with top fundraisers from all over the nation, you’ll be awarded a three-day celebration at the Tour of Champions in November 2012. Airfare, lodging and other special accommodations are included (location to be announced). Living With MS Don’t Let MS Stop You From Traveling Contributing Author Travis White Travel is good for the soul. It can improve your outlook on life and get you away from your daily routines. Trips can even give you space away from your ongoing issues with MS. However, individuals living with MS may be intimidated to travel, especially internationally. But with a little planning and preparation MS doesn’t have to stop you from taking your dream vacation. The first step is determining where you want to travel and researching the location for any barriers, challenges and support services. Travis White*, a member of the ColoradoWyoming Chapter, National MS Society living with MS, says doing your homework first will prepare you for the unknown. “I love to travel and I’m also stubborn so I’m not going to let something like MS interfere with my plans,” White adds. “Just a little prep work goes a long way for an enjoyable experience.” White, who was diagnosed with MS in 2008, has traveled all around the world, visiting more than 43 countries in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and the Americas since his diagnosis. He says he avoids exacerbations by reducing stress, staying in good shape, avoiding infections and taking plenty of naps. “While I love to travel, I try to set a realistic agenda to achieve these four objectives. Instead of three art museums in one day, I may only do two. That helps me reduce stress and allows time to take more naps and stay healthy to enjoy the trip,” he adds. White recommends the following travel tips for people living with MS, especially for international vacations: ■■ ■■ Write everything down. I create a travel document that includes everything about the itinerary—hotel phone numbers, confirmation numbers, arrival/departure times, and passport numbers. I also store these details on my smart phone. Knowing that I can’t possibly lose all of them reduces my stress. Make photocopies of your passport and put them in different locations in your luggage. Leave one copy with a friend at home who can fax it to you if all else fails. ■■ Set a realistic itinerary. I want to see as much as possible so I’m tempted to overdo it. I’ve discovered that it’s better to dial back my activities and take more naps. ■■ Get a note from your doctor that covers all your meds and assistive devices. Airport personnel can be incredibly * Travis White is not a licensed medical professional. Information provided does not constitute therapeutic recommendations and the NMSS recommends that all questions be discussed with a personal physician. nosy. A note from your doctor—on official letterhead—can save you a lot of time. Like other documents, store copies in multiple locations. ■■ Put your prescription meds in your carry-on luggage. If the airline loses your luggage, you’ll still have them. ■■ Get the contact details for the MS Society in any country you’re traveling to. If you have an MS-related problem, they can be angels. ■■ Call the airports you’ll use to find out their protocols on assistive devices. I travelled through a multitude of European airports with a huge leg brace and found that every airport had a different protocol – some quite time consuming. Travis White ■■ Sign up for the wheelchair service at the airport, which is usually handled by your airline. This will help you save time and reduce stress, even if you could walk the distance. ■■ Be calm and remember to breathe. The stress of travel can trigger flare-ups, but a flare-up may not be a full-fledged exacerbation. Write down your symptoms and the time they started. If they last less than 24 hours, they may be a pseudoexacerbation. If they last more than 24 hours, they may be real. In either case, it’s a good idea to have your neurologist’s phone number and e-mail address handy. To learn more about traveling with MS, please visit www.nationalmssociety.org/living-with-multiple-sclerosis/ healthy-living/travel-and-recreation/index.aspx. Free National Park Passes The National Park Service is issuing free passes to people with disabilities. Learn more at www.nps.gov/free_passes 1-800 FIGHT MS (344-4867) • www.cureMSco-wy.org 9 Development Walk MS Grand Junction Sam’s Club Top Store The Grand Junction Sam’s Club was recently ranked as the 13th store in the country for raising more than $6,000 for the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter as part of the Sam’s Club Charity of Choice program and its national sponsorship of the National MS Society. Store associates raised $6,600 for the Chapter by hosting barbecues in the store parking lot every Friday and Saturday during the month of February. Store Manager John Shihady says associates eagerly volunteer time because they believe in the organization and the cause. “We are always surprised to learn from customers how many people are affected by MS. We are glad to help,” Shihady says. Associates are also donating their time at various nonprofits throughout the Western Slope to raise additional funds through the Walmart Foundation’s Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program which provides up to $5,000 of additional donations to stores that commit 50 associates to 250 services hours. “We post other volunteer opportunities in the community for associates as well so we can raise even more money for MS through the VAP program,” Shihady says. Sam’s Club, which is committed to fostering employee morale, strengthening teamwork and giving back to the communities they serve, raised nearly $1.2 million to benefit MS Chapters across the country in 2011. To learn more about corporate sponsorships, please visit www.nationalmssociety.org/ chapters/coc/donate/index.aspx or call Kristin Gibbs, vice president of development at 303-698-5430. Home Renovations Possible with Partnership Home improvements can be expensive and daunting, but for those living with MS facing the challenge of making a living space accessible can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Partnerships like the one between the Chapter and the Home Builders Foundation (HBF) now make it easier to plan and fund such improvements. “Over the years the HBF has developed a great relationship with the National MS Society, where MS patients are referred to us for support in planning and funding construction projects,” Beth Forbes, program manager, explains. The mission of HBF is to provide accessibility solutions to Denver area clients in physical and financial need through collaboration with those in the building industry. HBF partners with builders, trades and suppliers in the building industry for donations of labor and materials for projects. For NMSS client Bob Snurka, his bathroom is a danger zone. Unable to stand and unable to get his wheelchair into the bathroom, Snurka must rely on grab bars mounted on the walls, which are grossly inadequate for his safety needs. Snurka’s bathroom requires a complete modification, including enlarging the entire room, installing a new and larger shower, and retiling the area. The Chapter, seeing the vastness of this project, approached HBF and now, thanks to companies like Van Dyk Construction willing to donate labor and secure donations of goods and other services as well as financial contributions from the Chapter, Bob is on his way to a larger, safer, more accessible bathroom. “Being approved by the foundation and then having the modification completed will make my life so much easier and more enjoyable. Having a foundation like the HBF available gives a person in my situation hope for an improved quality of life,” Snurka adds. 10 MS Connection • Summer 2012 To learn more about the Home Builders Foundation visit www.hbfdenver.org/ or for more information about client services through the Chapter, visit www.nationalmssociety.org/ chapters/coc/programs-services/index.aspx or call 1-800-3444867 option 1. Volunteering Interns Help Advance Mission Learning by doing can be invaluable for soonto-be or recent graduates. Hands-on experience in a learning and professional environment provides opportunities to gain organizational and communication skills not often taught in the classroom. The Chapter offers a number of professional opportunities for students and recent graduates to explore the nonprofit sector and support people affected by MS. Internships at the Chapter ideally enrich and expand lessons learned in the classroom. “A temporary visit to the real world offers students and new graduates the opportunity to test their skills,” Community Engagement Manager Amanda Douglass explains. Interns are typically hired in January, May and August. The Chapter provides all training and assigns a mentor to each intern. A cover letter, resume, and a professional interview are required as part of the selection process. “Interns help staff to advance our mission, while building real world experience,” Douglass adds. Interns are utilized in many areas of the organization, from fundraising and programs to marketing and advocacy work. Interns in the Development department learn valuable skills in event planning, donor cultivation and community outreach. Interns in the Programs department gain experience working with clients and planning programs. Public Policy interns help coordinate the Chapter’s advocacy efforts, which includes working with community groups and legislators. The internship program provides value for interns and the organization through the introduction of new ideas, renewed enthusiasm for the mission and cuttingedge approaches to today’s challenges. “It is a successful and proven business model that allows growth for students as well as a steady stream of young, talented professional staff for the organization,” Sharon O’Hara, vice president of Programs and Advocacy adds. When internships are successfully completed, interns receive a portfolio of their work, a thank you letter, a copy of A big thank final assessment and letters of you goes out to our recommendation. Interns also current interns: Mackenzie Goeschel (Volunte have the opportunity to join the er Engagement), Stephanie Yoon Chapter’s ambassador program (Bike MS), Cheri McElhiney (Pro grams), to maintain a long lasting Matthew Pfeifer (Public Policy), relationship and network. Hannah Rea (Marketing), Rob in Slutsky To learn more about the Chapter’s internship or ambassador programs. visit www.cureMSco-wy.org or call 303-698-7400. (Public Policy), and Meg Boemi (MuckRuckus MS) Board Welcomes New Member Jo Wilson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for TransFirst, has been named to the board of trustees of the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National MS Society. Wilson has more than 20 years of human resource and management experience in a variety of fields, including sales, finance and education. At TransFirst, one of the nation’s leading providers of payment processing services, she is responsible for implementing cost-effective HR strategies and overseeing the recruitment and training of employees. Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Arizona State University. “We are delighted that Jo has joined our board,” said Carrie Nolan, Chapter president. “Her skills and expertise will be an asset in advancing the mission of our organization,” she added. Call for Nominations: Chapter Board of Trustees If you or someone you know would like to be considered as a candidate for the Chapter’s Board of Trustees, send a letter of interest to: Ms. Irene Hashimoto Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, NMSS 900 S. Broadway, Ste 250 Denver, CO 80209 You may also email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Nomination for Board of Trustees” in the subject line. All letters must be received by September 1, 2012. 1-800 FIGHT MS (344-4867) • www.cureMSco-wy.org 11 Broadway Station 900 S. Broadway, Ste. 250 Denver, CO 80209 Save the Date! Mark your calendar for these 2012 Chapter Events MS on the Move Luncheons Aspen—Friday, July 20 Denver—Tuesday, September 11 Northern Colorado—Thursday, Sept. 13 Hike MS Copper Mountain July 28 Winter Park September 1 MuckRuckus MS Grand Park Near Winter Park, Colorado August 4 2012 Annual Meeting October 20, 2012 Central Double Tree Hotel 8773 Yates Dr., Westminster 80031 Southern Colorado Antlers Hilton 4 South Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs 80903 Northern Colorado McKee Conference and Wellness Center 2000 North Boise Ave., Fort Collins 80525 Western Slope Double Tree Hotel 743 Horizon Dr., Grand Junction 81506 Wyoming Little America Hotel and Resort 2800 West Lincolnway, Cheyenne 82009