Cranston resident Tim Burke will be part of the MS Great 8 next week, one of 20 cyclists biking through eight states in eight days to raise money for people with multiple sclerosis. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, they will depart from Warwick and the R.I. Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is hosting a sendoff from the Hamptons Inn on Post Road.
All supporters are invited to come and cheer on Burke and his teammates at 7 a.m. An active cyclist, Burke has already participated in four major bike events this year including the 150-mile Bike MS: Ride the Rhode. He’s raised nearly $6,500 of his $10,000 goal for the MS Great 8, which plans to raise more than $200,000.
“I have friends who have been suffering from MS for years and I have always loved biking,” Burke said. “By participating in events like the MS Great 8 and Bike MS: Ride the Rhode, I can support the National MS Society to find a cure for MS while doing something I really enjoy.”
Locally, Burke belongs to the long-time Bike MS: Ride the Rhode team Nel’s Grey Goose, which has 34 members and raised nearly $32,000 this year alone for the Rhode Island Chapter of the National MS Society. Many of his Nel’s Grey Goose teammates will be there on Tuesday morning to cheer on the efforts of Burke and the MS Great 8 cyclists.
“We applaud Tim for his dedication and his tireless efforts to help Rhode Islanders with multiple sclerosis,” said Chapter President Kathy Mechnig. “He is an inspiration and we want to support him and his fellow cyclists.”
The MS Great 8 course starts on Oct. 7 with a coastal route through Maine and New Hampshire then cyclists will power through the hills of Massachusetts and Connecticut with a stop in Rhode Island. The final days will be spent in northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania before culminating on Oct. 14 in an exciting Times Square finale.
The MS Great 8 was the brainchild of Mike Zimits, who was diagnosed with MS 13 years ago, and Catherine Tsigakos, whose brother was diagnosed with MS 22 years ago. The goal of the MS Great 8 Foundation is to raise public awareness about MS, raise funds that go directly to various chapters of the National MS Society, and inspire those diagnosed with MS to take charge of their lives and not let MS control them. To learn more, visit http://www.msgreat8.org/MSGreat-8/Home.html.
To donate to Burke’s effort, visit http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/MSGreat8CyclingEvent/RIRBikeEvents?&px=8491149&pg=personal&fr_id=18679