The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will host the Walk MS: Harker Heights 2013 fundraising event at Carl Levin Park on Saturday to benefit MS research.

The 13th annual event is about connecting people who suffer from MS and making them familiar with local services and businesses available to them, said Trenton Foster, National MS Society development manager.

“We’re supporting one another and meeting each other and also bringing in local resources to help those affected by MS,” Foster said. “And it’s also a fundraising event to raise money for research and some of the programs and services that we provide.”

Walk MS: Harker Heights was started by a local woman named Peggy Muller who died from the disease in November 2012.

Since then, Foster said, Muller’s legacy has been carried on by close friends and family who remain devoted to the movement.

“This event is very community driven and is ran by a group of people who wanted to continue and improve on what Peggy had started in her community,” Foster said.

The National MS Society has 1,800 reported MS cases in the Central Texas area. Foster attributes the success of events like Walk MS to the many volunteers and participants.

“We have a group of passionate people who have taken a challenging situation they’ve faced and created an event to not only raise money but awareness about MS,” Foster said. “I think that’s what will make people continue to get involved year after year.”

Last year, more than 200 people participated in the event and the walk raised $25,000. The goal this year is to top those amounts.

As of Tuesday, 78 participants were registered, but Foster was optimistic about the turnout.

“The bulk of our participants will register the day of the event,” she said.

Participants will be treated to complimentary food and entertainment. Dogs are welcome.

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