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Archive for Monday, September 17, 2001

Tour raises money for MS

September 17, 2001

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Rain and wind didn't dampen the spirit of the MS 150 bike tour, which pedaled this weekend from Topeka to Lawrence, and then to Lecompton and Perry.

"It was wet and cold," said Robert Maurus, 51, Kansas City, Mo. "But I think there's probably a different obstacle every year."

He spent months training for the 150-mile tour and raised over $500.

"I'm pretty happy that we gave to a good cause," he said.

More than 300 riders participated in the 15th annual Eastern Kansas MS 150 tour, raising almost $154,000, said Sheri Daudet, director of the Eastern Kansas Branch of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

"This is our top fund-raising event," she said.

The only hitch was the road across Perry Dam was closed in the wake of last Tuesday's terrorist attacks because it was determined to be a possible bomb target, she said.

"We found out Saturday night and were scrambling to re-route," Daudet said.

Instead of looping around Perry Lake, Sunday's ride did an out-and-back route to Ozawkie. Michael Jones, chair of the Eastern Kansas MS Board, said everyone stayed in good spirits despite the rain and route changes.

"I just can't say enough about how wonderful the riders are," he said Sunday. "Most of them went through all that rain yesterday, and were still in good spirits last night. I've never seen that many wet people in one place in my life."

In addition to the riders, about 300 volunteers made the two-day event possible. Stacey Combs, Lincoln, Neb. was back for her 12th year of volunteering. Her mother and grandmother, both of Topeka, have MS.

"I think it's a good cause," she said. "And it's good people, and I believe everybody needs to do their part."

Combs, who moved from Topeka to Lincoln three years ago, stayed busy through the weekend, coordinating the overnight shelter in Lawrence and making sure everyone was safe.

She said she would be back next year, helping the MS Society raise money and making the ride possible.

"Absolutely, I'll be back," she said. "Unless they find a cure. You hope every year is your last, but sometimes it's not."

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