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Stratford Man Honored For Poker Fundraiser
By Marcy Jarzabek, Intern, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter

STRATFORD, Conn. — Jason D’Aloia has received the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter’s Outstanding Third Party Event award. D’Aloia, a resident of Stratford, Conn., accepted the honor recently at the chapter’s Awards Ceremony and Annual Meeting.

Jason D'AloiaIn 2004 D’Aloia established Connecticut’s first poker fundraiser in honor of his mother-in-law, Janice Turek of Enfield, Conn., who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago. Since then the Turek Hold-em Poker Tournament has gained world-wide recognition and brought professional poker players to the table.

"This all began as a Christmas gift," said D’Aloia. "I gave my mother-in-law a letter one Christmas informing her that a charity poker tournament was going to be held in her honor to help find a cure for MS. After witnessing her strength in fighting the disease, I knew a fun poker tournament would be a wonderful way to show our support as a family."

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Since the first tournament was held in May 2004, Jason’s gamble for MS has raised $87,000 to benefit the Connecticut Chapter and those it serves.

"I am committed to making this event bigger and better every year," said D’Aloia. "My goal is to make this tournament the one that people look forward to year after year, and to provide the unexpected."

The fifth annual Turek Poker Classic will take place Nov. 15 at TJ’s Restaurant in Port Chester, N.Y. This year’s goal is to break the $100,000 mark for total money raised for MS research, according to D’Aloia. The top prize will be a World Series of Poker seat valued at $10,000.

Chapter president Lisa Gerrol handed out 17 awards at the annual meeting, which took place March 2 at the Hartford Marriot Rocky Hill. Joyce Nelson, president and CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, gave the keynote speech.

For more information on multiple sclerosis, the chapter, its efforts to end the devastating effects of the disease and the many ways to help, please go to


CUTLINE: Jason D’Aloia is honored as organizer of the Outstanding Third Party Event at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter Awards Ceremony and Annual Meeting Sunday, March 2. Pictured are, left to right, Joyce Nelson, president and chief executive officer of the National MS Society; Lisa Gerrol, president and chief professional officer, Connecticut Chapter; Jason D’Aloia; and Mike Stacy, master of ceremonies, Connecticut Chapter board of trustees member and morning show host at WRCH Lite 100.5 FM.


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