Greater New Haven WAMS Luncheon Raises More Than $35,000

Greater New Haven WAMS Luncheon Raises More Than $35,000

            PHOTO ATTACHED
            CUTLINE BELOW

Greater New Haven WAMS Luncheon Raises More Than $35,000

Wendy and JocelynNEW HAVEN, Conn. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Connecticut Chapter hosted the fifth annual Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, Conn., on Friday, June 1. More than 200 women and men attended, raising more than $35,000. Jocelyn Maminta, WTNH News Channel 8 anchor and reporter, served for a fifth year as mistress of ceremonies.

Wendy Booker, keynote speaker, shared her story of how her life turned upside down then, just as quickly, right side up when she learned in 1998 she had multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive neurological disease affecting the central nervous system.

Booker, then 44, and the married mother of three, was a typical mom balancing the demands of a career in interior design and the needs of her growing family. Her diagnosis, although devastating at first, served only to catapult her from ordinary to passionate enthusiast. A onetime jogger, she began to train relentlessly for marathons, including Chicago, Boston and New York. Unwilling to give into unpredictable and sometimes baffling symptoms, she charted a course that later led her to mountaineering and the Seven Summits.

“I say you don't have to be a mountain climber or a marathon runner; I've done that as well,” said Booker, a native of Rye, N.Y., and now a resident of Boulder, Colo. "You need to find something that takes you from your MS, maybe for a little while, maybe for an hour if you're lucky. It will always be there but duringthat time your mind is engaged and you'll get back a piece of your soul."

According to statistics, three times as many women are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as are men. As a result, women across the nation now come together annually, state by state and chapter by chapter, to learn, through inspirational personal accounts, about the effects of this potentially debilitating disease and the latest advances in treatment and care. These same women join together to raise critically-needed funds to facilitate scientific research to find a cure. The money raised also provides for vital programs and services offered by local chapters. Since 2001, these dynamic groups have been known as Women Against MS or WAMS.

Last year, the Greater New Haven WAMS Luncheon raised more than $30,000. Over the past three years, the Greater Connecticut Chapter WAMS Luncheons have raised approximately $535,000. For more information about the November WAMS Luncheon in Hartford, Conn., please contact Kristen Mauro, development specialist, at (860) 714-2300, ext. 224, or e-mail

PHOTO CUTLINE: Wendy Booker, keynote speaker at June’s Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon, takes a moment to speak with WTNH News Channel 8 anchor and reporter Jocelyn Maminta.




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Phone: 860.714.2300, ext. 239


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