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Connecticut Residents Prepare To Lace Up & Step Out For Worthy Cause

Travelers Walk Logo

NOTE TO MEDIA: The National MS Society, Greater Connecticut Chapter serves residents diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their families in the following counties: Hartford, Tolland, Windham, New London, Middlesex and New Haven.

HARTFORD, Conn. More than 6,000 Connecticut residents battle the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) daily. In a show of support, each year, thousands of loved ones, friends, neighbors and co-workers across the state lace up and step out in solidarity for a single cause to end the devastating effects of MS.

Travelers, formerly known as St. Paul Travelers, has been named 2007 title sponsor with UnitedHealth Group teaming up as this year’s presenting sponsor. Travelers, ranked 85 on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies, is a longtime partner in the fight against MS and was presented the 2006 MS Connecticut Citizen of Year award at the chapter’s annual gala held in March at the Hartford Civic Center.

In 1995, under the leadership of Connecticut resident and then Travelers staff member Jean Cormier, Travelers registered its first team. In 1997, Travelers partnered with the National MS Society, Greater Connecticut Chapter as a corporate sponsor and was named Corporate Sponsor of the Year. By 1999, the corporation enlisted more than 1,500 participants to field 54 walk teams participating in 43 chapter walk events nationwide. In that same year, at its national conference in Anaheim, Calif., Travelers received from the National MS Society the Corporation of the Year award. Last year, the Travelers MS Walk teams raised more than $165,000 combined.

The Greater Connecticut Chapter is currently registering individuals and teams for the 2007 Travelers MS Walk to be held on Sunday, April 22, at eight communities across Connecticut and on Sunday, April 30, at a ninth site located in Woodstock, Conn., at Hyde School. Each walk site offers accessible 2.5- and 5-mile route options. 

Check-in begins at 8 a.m., and the walk event will get underway at 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to participants for extraordinary fundraising efforts. Lunch will be provided compliments of Subway and Coca-Cola. Oxford Health Plans, St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center and Wal-Mart have teamed up as this year’s platinum sponsors. April 22 walk site locations include:

  • Cheshire High School in Cheshire
  • Morgan High School in Clinton
  • JFK Middle School in Enfield
  • Mitchell College in New London
  • Manchester Community College in Manchester
  • Westminster School in Simsbury
  • University of Connecticut, Hartford Campus, in West Hartford
  • West Haven High School in West Haven.

For a second year, news anchor Darren Kramer, WTNH News Channel 8, has been named event Grand Marshal, stepping out at the West Hartford walk site. Kramer first joined WTNH in 1999, where he anchored the morning and noon broadcasts. In early 2006, he returned to WTNH News Channel 8 after a little more than two years in Chicago. The morning news anchor has a personal connection to MS.

“News Channel 8 is dedicated to helping different charities throughout Connecticut,” said Kramer. “National MS Society events are especially important to me and my family because my mother-in-law battles the effects of multiple sclerosis.”

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease. It's generally diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms can range from numbness in the limbs, loss of vision and, in severe cases, complete paralysis. The progression, severity, and specific symptoms related to MS in any one person cannot be predicted, but advances in research and treatments are providing hope to those affected by the disease. Funds raised at chapter events, such as the Travelers MS Walk, ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to Connecticut residents affected by MS. The chapter’s walk event attracts about 7,000 participants each year, making it the largest walk event in the state, and has raised more than $1 million each year for the past four years more than $4 million combined.

Travelers is a leading provider of commercial property casualty insurance. Under the Travelers brand, the company is also the second largest underwriter of auto and homeowners insurance through independent agents. The company’s community giving is focused on community development, education and arts and culture. A member of Hartford’s corporate community since 1864, Travelers provided in excess of $4 million in community support for the Metro Hartford area in 2005. St. Paul Travelers employees are consistently active in community initiatives and provide thousands of hours in volunteer time in Hartford and other area towns each year.

Pre-registration for the 2007 Travelers MS Walk is FREE and preferred. To learn more about the Travelers MS Walk, please tune to WTNH News Channel 8/MY TV 9, Comcast Communications, 97.7 WCTY Country Favorites. To register online for the 2007 St. Paul Travelers MS Walk, please go to www.ctfightsms.org or call 860.714.2300.



For More Information
Contact Karen E. Butler
Vice President, Communications
Phone: 860.714.2300, ext. 230
Cell Phone: 860.997.4487



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