Each year, the MS Walk in Ardmore grows.
In its first year, event organizer Linda McCraw set a goal of $1,500. They raised more than $21,000. The next year, $31,000, and then $23,500 last year.
"We've been so blessed with it each year, and we meet new people every time," McCraw says.
Last year, 151 people participated in the annual walk, geared toward raising funds for research for multiple sclerosis — an inflammatory disease which damages the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
People from all walks of life, businesses and destinations will participate in the walk in teams, geared toward raising as much money as possible for the event. Each of these teams will take part in the three-mile walking route on Saturday, starting at the Softball Complex in Regional Park. Registration is at 9 a.m., and the walk will begin around 10 a.m.
"We try and do it as big as possible," McCraw says. "We'll come up with an idea, and someone will tell us we can't do it. I look at them and ask, 'Well, why not?'"
People can donate whatever amount they like at the event. Food and refreshments will be available, and teams can still form and sign up the day of the event. There is even a place for those who would like to take part in the walk, but may not have the ability to walk the course. McCraw refers to them as "phantom walkers."
"They can still take part in it, and feel like they're taking part in the walk," she explains.
There will also be a raffle at the event. Tickets are $1 apiece, and prizes include a $600 certificate for tires from Michelin, a chance at 25 percent of the money raised by the raffle, or tickets to see 38 Special on Nov. 9 at Heritage Hall.
All proceeds from the event will be given to the NNMS Oklahoma Chapter.
"There are some wonderful doctors in Oklahoma City and in Ardmore that will try to come, as well as Frank Simpson, possibly some other local officials," McCraw says. "We're hoping this will be as good as recent years to help raise awareness of this disease and raise some money for research."