Over 500 people from around the community are expected to attend the Multiple Sclerosis Challenge being held this Saturday at the Sun Dome. As a first of its kind, the Challenge will host a variety of events to raise awareness and money for the Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund, an organization under the umbrella of the University of South Florida Foundation, Inc.
“We just started the fund,” sophomore and administrative assistant of the neurology department Eli Pano said. “We don’t have a budget yet, so we’re doing this as a big old fundraiser.”
Pano works as an assistant to John Krolczyk, an assistant professor in the neurology department. Krolczyk has worked with other professors to start the Fund over the past two-and-a-half months, and said he feels it is very important for young people to attend the event.
“(It is important) because between 18-35 (years of age) is when a person will begin to develop signs of MS,” Krolczyk said.
Participants are able to receive a free comprehensive health screening, bid in a silent auction, participate in an obstacle course, play basketball with the USF women’s team and, for a donation to the fund, also utilize a bicycle spinning challenge that will be held through out day. A children’s activity center will be provided as well.
To help with instruction of the activities, local celebrities such as the Buccaneers cheerleaders and the Tampa Bay Storm cheerleaders will be on hand.
In the evening, Pano said the Fund will host an afterparty at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
“We’ve rented out the pool area and Floyd’s,” Pano said. “Peroni Beer is sponsoring the event and will be giving away free beer all night.”
Attendees can also expect a variety of hors d’oeuvres while they watch two fashion shows.
Designer Nicolas Felizola will present 15 models to introduce his 2006 coutur, and designer Angel Fumagalli will also hold a show to display her line of Brazilian bikinis.
According to Pano, the afternoon’s events will run from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and are free and open to the public, although donations are welcomed. A ticket to the casino after party can be purchased for $50, but does not include entrance into Floyd’s. A more expensive ticket that includes entrance in Floyd’s may be purchased from organizers. The afterparty begins at 9 p.m. and lasts until 2 a.m.
More information can be found at: www.multiplesclerosisusf.com or at (813)385-0758. Pano can be reached directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.