Published on April 29, 2004 at 6:50 AM
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has announced that the esteemed actor and comedienne Teri Garr has been named the first National Chair of their Women Against MS (WAMS) program.
In this new role, the Society applauds Teri Garr's courage in bringing national attention to MS and her work in educating the public about both the challenges of life with MS and the many breakthroughs available in treating the disease.
Ms. Garr assumed the mantle of her current volunteer position before some 700 prominent women executives and their guests at the WAMS luncheon held April 29th at the Wyndam Hotel in Philadelphia. Women Against MS is a fledgling education and fundraising program that is rapidly gaining nationwide momentum.
Introduced five years ago as a basic "no" event type of "event" with no formal printed invitations, no fashion show, no raffles, no walking, no running and no cycling, etc., each WAMS event instead has a steering committee of women leaders committed to the MS cause who ask their friends and business associates to join them for lunch and make a set minimum charitable donation to help end the devastating effects of MS.
Today some twenty National MS Society chapters are hosting WAMS luncheons across the country that draw between 200 - 700 attendees who come to learn more about multiple sclerosis and give "from the heart" to help friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues.
The program has already raised over $2 million to support the work of the Society. "Women Against MS has the potential to become one of the National MS Society's most important new programs," says Mike Dugan, President and CEO of the Society. "It both acknowledges and encourages the advancement of women philanthropists, the single fastest growing segment of our population." "We are thrilled that Teri Garr has taken the WAMS program under her wing," adds Fred Flanders, director of corporate development at the Society. "Since Teri lives with MS herself, she puts a powerful and moving face to the disease, and does so with a welcome touch of humor. Moreover, having a celebrity of her prominence speak out on behalf of our WAMS program tells millions of fans that multiple sclerosis is worthy of their attention, it makes people with MS and their families feel important, and it validates the dedication of volunteers and staff to eradicating the disease.