Over the Labor Day weekend Bentonville will host the first annual TRIFEST for MS event. The three-day festival was inspired by Jo Rampy in 2011 when she set out on a personal mission to challenge herself despite her multiple sclerosis and complete her first triathlon. Not only did she achieve her goal, over $1500 in funds were raised to start the Rampy MS Research Foundation where she is now the Chief Encouragement Officer. “The community support we felt during Jo’s TRI 2 Encourage was incredible,” husband, Co-Founder and President Scott Rampy said. “The TRIFEST in 2012 will be an expanded effort by a group of ordinary people working to do extraordinary things for MS research.”
Rampy MS Research Foundation is proud to welcome professional triathlete Morgan Chaffin to the event. Morgan grew up in northeast Nebraska and didn’t have the passion for endurance sports until her high school years. Her father passed due to health complications and this was a major turning point for Morgan. She herself was considered overweight and obese. She kicked her bad habits and found exercise was a great way to cope with the loss of her father. In 2005, she took up cycling and raced for Team Kaos/Nebraska Medical Center and was the state time trial champion for a few consecutive years before beginning triathlons in 2008. Morgan is excited to be attending the Trifest for MS Triathlon in 2012. “The Rampy MS Foundation stands for a great cause! It is not only working on finding a cure but educating and encouraging others to lead a healthier lifestyle.”
The TRIFEST for MS includes three triathlon distances as well as a kid’s triathlon. Registration is available for individuals as well as relay teams. Relay teams are available for all races except the kid’s triathlon. Complete three races in three days and you’ve earned a TRIFESTA. Volunteers are needed to help with any number of items from set-up/tear down and registration to course cheerleading and support for participants some of which will have MS or other physical challenges. "The TRIFEST for MS is a three-day celebration that recognizes what can happen when individuals come together and encourage one another," says Rampy. Anyone interested can go to www.researchms.org to donate or sign-up to participate or volunteer.
All funds raised from the event will benefit the University of Arkansas Medical Science MS Research Center (UAMS). These funds are dedicated to support the Multiple Sclerosis Research Team within the Department of Neurology. “We are extremely grateful for the work done and the progress being made by Dr. Lee Archer, and research scientists, Dr. Paul Drew and Dr. Patricia Wight,” Pat Torvestad, Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing at UAMS said. “Thank you for your generosity and support of MS Research and Treatment at UAMS.”
The Rampy MS Research Foundation is an official 501(c) 3 nonprofit that works with its partners to advance MS research. You can also stay up-to-date on the Foundation’s work at Facebook http://www.facebook.com/researchms and on Twitter @research_ms.