MS So­ci­ety fundraiser

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

It’s pos­i­tively a bar­gain in these thrifty times – a Satur­day night’s worth of good food, wine, fine frocks and jazzy tunes for $50.

Even bet­ter, an up­com­ing glitzy ball is rais­ing funds for a good cause – Welling­ton’s Mul­ti­ple Sclero­sis So­ci­ety.

A reg­u­lar night out on the town would cost twice as much for half the glam­our, says the so­ci­ety’s vicepres­i­dent, 29-year-old Cam­borne man Andy Wood­side.

‘‘You’d be spend­ing about a hun­dred bucks with­out re­al­is­ing it, so this is pretty good.’’

This year’s ball is a big step up from a sim­i­lar event held two years ago in a school hall in Ngaio, Mr Wood­side says.

The venue is Welling­ton’s up­mar­ket James Cook Ho­tel, and at­ten­dees will be ser­e­naded by jazz trio Black­bird.

More than 200 peo­ple are hoped to at­tend dressed up to the nines, but Mr Wood­side ex­pects most tick­ets will sell at the last minute.

‘‘I think it’s a New Zealand trait, peo­ple say ‘ oh yeah, we’ll buy them’ and they don’t ac­tu­ally buy them ‘ til the last week.’’

Funds raised will go to­wards hir­ing a third field worker to sup­port MS suf­fer­ers on the Kapiti Coast.

Cur­rently just two field work­ers serve over 400 MS So­ci­ety mem­bers in Welling­ton, Porirua, the Hutt Val­ley, Kapiti and the Wairarapa.

The of­fi­cers hold reg­u­lar meet­ings where suf­fer­ers of the de­gen­er­a­tive neu­ro­log­i­cal disease can meet other MS So­ci­ety mem­bers and dis­cuss what treat­ments work and don’t work for them.

The ball will be a par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant source of funds this year be­cause the so­ci­ety’s an­nual fundrais­ing day in March was called off, as it co­in­cided with a na­tional day of mourn­ing for the Christchurch earth­quake.

An al­ter­na­tive col­lec­tion date in Septem­ber is look­ing un­cer­tain too, as the so­ci­ety’s four-leaf clover might be associated with Ire­land’s rugby team dur­ing the World Cup.

A for­mer Tawa Col­lege stu­dent, Mr Wood­side has been a so­ci­ety com­mit­tee mem­ber for six years, since he was di­ag­nosed with MS while work­ing in IT in Lon­don.

At first symp­toms were just headaches, but he soon found co-or­di­na­tion dif­fi­cult while play­ing sport.

‘‘Ev­ery­one thought ‘ oh man he’s unco!’’’ he says, laugh­ing.

His con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated for six months, af­ter which he de­cided to re­turn to his fam­ily in New Zealand.

Apart from funds, MS So­ci­ety is look­ing for un­der­stand­ing and re­spect from the com­mu­nity, Mr Wood­side says.

‘‘Just more tol­er­ance of MS in the com­mu­nity and how it af­fects peo­ple dif­fer­ently.’’

Welling­ton Mul­ti­ple Sclero­sis Ball, 7.30pm July 23, James Cook Ho­tel. Tick­ets $50 from mswelling­ton. org.nz/ball or 04 475 3833.

Char­ity bash: Welling­ton Mul­ti­ple Scleroris Ball or­gan­iser Andy Wood­side hopes funds will help to hire a field worker ded­i­cated to Kapiti’s 100 MS suf­fer­ers.

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