Walk MS is an annual event created to raise awareness and support for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
This year’s event took place April 28 at the Lancaster Marketplace in Lancaster, Calif. Volunteers are encouraged to come out and walk, run or roll a 1k or 5k for those suffering from MS. Following the walk was a barbecue lunch and booths with games and sponsors, as well as live music.
One of the event’s leading contributors, Northrop Grumman has been volunteering with a growing support for the last four years. This year, the company raised around $15,000 for the event and had about 150 employees come out to both staff and walk the event making Northrop Grumman more than just a corporate sponsor. Members of the Northrop team could be spotted providing security, running the registration table, serving food, and operating check-in booths.
“I’m here because it’s a wonderful event to support all the folks who have MS,” said Northrop Grumman Administrative Assistant Evelyn Van Dorp, as she worked the check-in table. “It’s great to come out here and see everyone come together as companies to form an amazing event.”
Northrop Grumman raises money for the event by hosting in-house fundraisers such as T-shirt and snack sales.
“Northrop Grumman seems to be a very giving corporation,” said Cassandra Harvey, manager of Production Integration. “At our Palmdale [Calif.] manufacturing center there are around 3,000 employees, and per capita we give more than any other [Northrop] site across the country. Last year we gave an excess of $190,000 and this year we are set to break that record as well. I think [Walk MS] a successful event and our NG team seems to keep growing each year.”
The official start time for the walk was 10 a.m. and not long after the first runner had returned from the 3-mile course.
That runner, Palmdale High School student, Andrew Lozano said, “I wanted to help the cause because I think we need to find a cure.” He also added that “it’s crazy” to see the number of people that came out for the event. “I think it’s a really great event and I’d like to come back next year and the rest of the years that they have it,” said Lozano.
Not far behind Lozano were Jeff Perol, RCS Engineer and Marc Tang, Long Range Strike Business Development, for the Northrop Grumman Palmdale facility. “I’m out here to enjoy the great weather, good fellowship and raise money for a good cause,” said Perol. Tang added, “It’s a wonderful cause I’ve supported this every year since I’ve been at Northrop. I just am amazed at the support from the valley let alone the company.”
In addition to the large company support, student groups also gave of their time and resources to help support the cause. “We got ROTC together, we made our team and raised a bunch of money to help support the cause, raising money to defeat MS,” said Lancaster High School ROTC member Nicole Kittel.
As runners and walkers finished their course they were greeted by students with medals to congratulate them on a job-well-done. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with MS every hour. The disease can present itself as numbness and tingling or in worse cases blindness and paralysis. According to the National MS Society, Walk MS is a day to “raise funds and celebrate hope for the future.”