By Jeff Gallatin
Annie Kilbane and her team of volunteers hope they get to see multiple sclerosis knocked out, just like they KO’d some Springvale fish fry fundraising records this year.
Kilbane, a longtime city employee who has MS, set up a team of volunteers to raise funds for the MS Society at one of the Springvale fish fry events on Fridays during Lenten season. When Mayor Kevin Kennedy reinstituted the fish fries several years ago, he opened it up to different groups to come in and have their members raise money and support through their work as servers. The tips they receive go toward their respective causes or organizations. Kilbane has set up her group’s efforts to be donated to the MS Society for research in the fight against MS.
While reviewing the team’s financial figures for its work Friday, Kilbane said this year’s financial numbers for the March 8 event topped her group’s previous efforts by a wide margin.
“It’s easily the most we’ve ever raised at the fish fry,” she said of this year’s figure of $1,314, which topped the previous high of $785 last year.
Kilbane, who also sets up teams to take part in the annual MS Walk and last year took part in the MS bike ride for the first time, was pleased by the high numbers, while noting it enabled the group to reach a goal.
“We wanted to break some records this year,” she said. “No disrespect to the other organizations, but we went in with the goal to beat other teams in the amount of money we raised and to set some team records, and it looks like we’ve been able to do that.”
Since the last Springvale fish fry was Friday, city officials did not have final records for other teams or the overall event this year as this story was going to press, but they noted Kilbane’s team was already high on the unofficial list for amount of money raised.
Kilbane attributed her group’s success to its members being strongly motivated by the cause they were working for.
“We have a great group of volunteers who have fun together but work really hard at this and other things they participate in,” she said. “A lot of them have a personal connection because they have relatives or friends who have or had MS. It’s something they care a great deal about.”
Kilbane said she and the group intend to participate in the event again next year.