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Cold Ones for a Cause:

Cheers and Beers Pub Crawl
Thursday, March 8th
Hell’s Kitchen • 118 Princess St.
5:30-9:30 p.m.
$10/adv. or $15/day of
www.nationalsocietyms.org

It is hard and horrifying to acknowledge that up to 350,000 people suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). With 200 new cases diagnosed each week, its attack on the nerves of the brain and spinal cord affects loss of muscle control, vision, balance and sensation (such as numbness)—all attacked by one’s own immune system. The autoimmune disease has debilitating symptoms, sudden unpredictability and long-lasting health effects. Though no one knows the cause, doctors and the National MS Society (with many chapters scattered all across the world) are arduously and frantically searching for a cure.

While medications for MS often help, their adverse effects take a toll on the body. Likewise, meds can be poorly compatible, depending on the individual. In the end, the disease knows no age limit; it can affect anyone from 20 to 50 years old.

In Wilmington and throughout the southeast, the MS Society has been very proactive to educate and inspire folks to come together and combat its statistics. With charity walks, runs and bike rides, they keep education heightened and reach out to those who have MS, as well as family members and friends. This month there will be a new fund-raising approach from the local MS committee: a downtown pub crawl.

“This is the first beer crawl we’ve ever done,” Maggi Apel, committee member, says. “We have organized events like simple luncheons over the past three years, but we decided to [try] something new. We also figured that a pub crawl would not only be fun, while supporting a good cause, but help out some of the local businesses downtown.”

Known as the Cheers and Beers Pub Crawl, the event takes place on Thursday, March 8th, in hopes of reaching out to all people, from different age groups and cultures. Apel herself understands the horrors of MS, as she shares her mother’s history with the disease. In fact, many members of the MS Society either know someone who is afflicted or have lost someone to Multiple Sclerosis.

Though Apel says past events have been highly successful, the local chapter is seeking to gather a larger audience. “We chose to do a pub crawl to raise awareness mainly within a younger crowd and an overall different crowd that we feel we have not reached entirely,” she notes.

The Cheers and Beers Pub Crawl is a strictly 21-and-older event. At 5:30 p.m., the party will begin with a kickoff bash at Hell’s Kitchen on Princess Street. Afterward, all participants will migrate to various downtown bars and restaurants such as Fat Tony’s, Caffe Phoenix, The Eat Spot and Goodfellas.

“As far as choosing locations, we just kind of talked about different establishments we are familiar with,” Apel says, “and what we thought about places that would be able to provide food—because with a pub crawl, where most people would be drinking, we wanted that to be offered as well. In the end, every business we asked did not hesitate to support our cause.”

According to Apel, the chapter is expecting 50 to 75 to attend the crawl. With hopes of random passersby and bar regulars joining in, the Cheers and Beers Pub Crawl will offer a raffle of illustrious prize. Included is a $100 gift certificate to Perry’s Emporium, designer sunglasses from Eye Care Associates, a three-month membership to Planet Fitness, a $50 gift certificate to local bicycle business Two Wheeler Dealer, a Bangz Hair Salon gift basket, original artwork by Leslie Isaksen and more. The raffle will be drawn at the final destination, Goodfellas, around 9:30 p.m.

“All proceeds from the fund-raiser and raffle will go directly to the National MS Society, and many of its chapters in North Carolina and all along the southeastern coast,” Apel says.

The monies raised will be used to find the cause, treatment and, ultimately, a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. The money is also used to provide education, information, direct financial support, and scholarships to individuals and families living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the event. To purchase tickets, visit http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/CheersAndBeers. To learn more about Multiple Sclerosis and to find volunteer and donation opportunities, visit www.nationalsocietyms.org.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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