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  • Vermilion Voice

A&W Helps Support MS

The A&W mascot, Rooty, relaxes in a classic car in Vermilion on August 24. Photos Angela Mouly

Hundreds of community members stopped by A&W in Vermilion to support their ‘Burgers To Beat MS’ and ‘Cruisin’ The Dub’ Campaign on August 24.

A large group of local ladies came to support their friends living with Multiple Sclerosis, enjoying a meal and visiting together.

“Everyone is affected differently,” said Jane Mercier, who was diagnosed at age 57, which she noted being as unusual.

Typically, those with MS are diagnosed as young adults. Donna DeFord was diagnosed 23 years ago and is in remission, but still struggles with balance.

“When the medicine stops working, you have to go through the process of finding a new one that works. When people say, ‘You look good,’ I often want to scream and say, ‘I wish you could see my brain and damaged nerves,’” said DeFord.

Mayor, Bruce MacDuff volunteered to serve burgers during the event, and customers rallied in support of the cause.

From left, Mayor Bruce MacDuff volunteered to serve burgers at A&W; and MS Society of Canada’s Lloydminster Chapter Coordinator for Programs and Services,Valorie Lazicki, volunteered to answer questions surrounding Multiple Sclerosis.

According to the MS Society of Canada’s Lloydminster Chapter Coordinator for Programs and Services, Valerie Lazicki, the funds raised by the campaign will go towards both research and local programs and services. The local chapter shares information on financial stability and support groups which include a coffee group and a dinner group.

“The dinner group provides a natural way for people to be comfortable and break bread together. Last year this campaign raised $1.6 million, and we hope to beat that this year!” said Lazicki.

According to Lazicki, the campaign had already raised close to $1million before August 24. Staff had been selling A&W merchandise across the country in order to prepare for the event. On August 24 in Vermilion, people also had the opportunity to donate by purchasing $1, $2, or $5 cut outs, as well as having $2 from every Teen Burger sold go towards supporting MS. A Silent Auction was held, and a photo booth and classic cars provided conversation pieces for the public.

The national campaign has raised $9 million in the past, and now has Christine Sinclair- Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team Captain as an Ambassador. The two-time Olympic Bronze medalist’s mother, Sandi, lives with MS, giving Sinclair her passionate background for the cause.

“We would like to thank the community, volunteers, and businesses for their donated silent auction items to help support MS,” said Vermilion A&W staff member, Rayann Ramirez.

For more information on MS, you can visit or call 780-871-0513.

Left, Jim Schmidt brought his classic 1929 Model A Ford from Wainwright to celebrate ‘Burgers to Beat MS’ and ‘Cruisin’ The Dub’ in Vermilion on August 24. Schmidt was excited to have it out on the road for the first time and to attend his first car show all to support a good cause. He had purchased the project car because his father whose favourite colour was red was born in 1929.

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