Pancakes boost energy at annual MS Walk |

Pancakes boost energy at annual MS Walk

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted Photo

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Each year, Coy Bretthorst sets aside a morning in May to honor a young friend, who died of multiple sclerosis, with stacks of fluffy pancakes.And the tradition continues from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday as Bretthorst and fellow Kiwanis Club volunteers serve up the breakfast staple at the 18th annual David Donelan MS Walk in Glenwood Canyon.”I really liked David a lot, and I wanted to do something to honor him,” Bretthorst said.Bretthorst first met Donelan when he was in the Kiwanis-sponsored Glenwood Springs High School Key Club. Donelan died in April 2001 at age 31 from the chronic disease that has no cure.”He was just a really fine, exemplary young man,” Bretthorst said.In 2002, Bretthorst approached Donelan’s mom, Penny, and MS Walk co-organizer Tillie Fischer at a health fair about serving pancakes at the event.They loved the concept.”It was really a neat idea,” Penny Donelan said. “It has really added to our walk. People don’t even have to walk – they can come and have pancakes.”

Kiwanis Club donates 100 percent of the all-you-can-eat breakfast proceeds to the MS Walk, which supports the National MS Society. The organization defines MS as an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and can have mild, moderate and severe symptoms.”Unfortunately MS is a chronic disease, so it doesn’t go away,” Penny Donelan said. “And if people are wondering ‘How can I help?’ this is how.”This year, the event features a new 5K run to provide an additional avenue for participants outside of forming teams and walking individually. The fundraiser, which raised $60,000 in pledges and corporate sponsorships last year, takes place at the No Name Rest Area on Interstate 70.”It’s the biggest walk per capita in the state,” Penny Donelan said. “I think it speaks well to the generosity of our community.”Nearly 25 teams, 175 walkers, and 20 runners have preregistered, Penny Donelan said. She said a new team from Craig has registered.”They’re going to have a big team,” she said. “They have 35 people on their team already.”Along with numerous volunteers – including spirited encouragement courtesy of the Glenwood Springs High School cheerleaders – Bretthorst’s wife, Mary, and her Xi Sigma sorority sisters will be on hand to handle event registration.”Xi Sigma has done registration for the walk all 17 years,” Penny Donelan said. “We make one phone call, and they show up and do it all for us.”Local folk-bluegrass musicians The Currys will add to the upbeat atmosphere with live music. A free shuttle for walkers and runners departs from Glenwood Springs High School at 7 a.m. and runs through 9 a.m. for those who want to bypass traffic and parking.

“I’d encourage people to not worry about the highway thing,” Coy Bretthorst said of the ongoing construction on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. “The buses will take care of everything.”Penny Donelan said the fundraising event provides a little something for everyone during a family-friendly spring morning spent in the canyon.”People can walk or run or eat pancakes – or do all three,” she said.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601aclark@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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