MS Society Honors McClurkin & Other Hams
JSU Print Shop emplyee John McClurkin was recently honored by The Alabama Multiple Sclerosis Society, along with other St. Clair County Ham radio operators for their assistance to the MS Bike Tour 2001 event held along the Alabama Gulf Coast. The Hams were honored during a meeting of the St. Clair Amateur Radio Emegency Service.
Courtney Ringer, Special Events Coordinator for the Alabama Multiple Sclerosis Society, said the Hams provided a valuable service during the Bike Tour event.
"I knew they (the bikers) were safe with you watching," said Ringer. "We are here tonight to give special thanks to those that went to Gulf Shores and helped."
Ringer and Tracy Smith, Alabama Multiple Sclerosis Society Chapter President, presented medals and t-shirts to amateur radio operators Jim and Elise Ruf, Brady and Lynn Bunt, John Higgins, Paul Henderson and John McClurkin.
Ringer said McClurkin was the key man in helping with the events.
"It is incredible how much we depend on you," said Smith. "There is no way we could do this tour without you."
The bicycle riders rode two days over 150 miles along South Alabama. At least 220 bikers entered the contest.
Each rider must raise a minimum of at least $200 to enter the competition.
Ringer estimated this year the event raised $130,000. An exact amount is not currently known as riders continue to raise money until the end of October.
Smith explained that money will aid people facing Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Smith said currently the cause for MS is not known and it is very hard to diagnose.
Smith said the statistics show women have MS at a rate of 2-1 over men.
"It is the prime of your life disease," said Smith explaining that most diagnoses occur for people ages 20-40.
Estimates place the number of MS cases 3,500-4,000 in Alabama.
The Bike Tour along with other fundraisers are critical to efforts to treat MS. For more information on MS, visit www.alabamanmss.org.
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