Gateway MS-150 Awards Banquet

Wednesday night, Anne and I, along with our neighbor and fellow teammate Susan, drove downtown to attend the 2013 rendition of the MS-150 awards banquet. It must be the awards season, what with last Sunday’s Golden Globes award ceremony and this morning’s nominee announcements for the Oscars. Our awards banquet isn’t in the same league as either of those other awards ceremonies. It certainly was no black-tie affair. Except do they even serve food at the Oscars? I think that you have to wait until everything is over before you even get a drink.

This year’s banquet was held in the Hyatt-Regency at the Arch. It was formerly known as Adam’s Mark. Although, I’ve been doing the MS ride for years and years, it has been a while since I did the last awards banquet. Everyone that I spoke to last night agreed that this year’s banquet was more than a step or two above any previous MS-150 banquet. Thanks to Sandi for getting there early and saving tables. The food was great, a Mexican buffet. I liked the black bean soup the best. The dessert table was even better and did I mention that there was free beer? Well done, Gateway!

The MS-150 is first and foremost a charity ride that is designed to raise money to fund research into ways to fight Multiple Scorsese. The awards given out by the MS Society are not for whoever rode the furthest or the fastest or even for best actor. The awards are for fundraising. We do some fundraising and both Anne and I are eternally grateful to our sponsors, but in the scheme of things we are both pretty much minimum wage actors. But we’ve been plugging away at this charity ride for over a dozen years. Persistence matters and even at minimum wage, over a decade the money adds up. Kudos to our sponsors!

As I said, we ride for scale, but this year’s ‘best actor’ pulled in over $41,000. His haul amounted to two-thirds of his team’s total and that team was one of the top five teams here in Saint Louis. At the Oscars, after the actor and actress awards and all those other awards, at the end of the night you eventually get to the big three. Usually, by then you just want to hear the next name, so you can go to bed. This awards ceremony didn’t run anywhere near as long as the Oscars and its finale was foreshortened by a fortuitous turn of events. The last three recipients were all one in the same.

Team Kaldis won the awards for the largest team last year and the team that raised the most money last year and the team that has raised the most ever in the history of the Gateway MS Chapter, over $1,000,000.00. The entire team was invited on stage. I was reluctant at first to join the rest of the team, because there were so many of us already on the stage. Also I wanted to get some photographs of the event. My long time friend and colleague, Captain Don was especially honored. He built this team, but now he is retiring. It is a lot of work. Another friend, Stew has stepped up to try to fill Don’s shoes. I’m sure that he will, he is a capable guy. So, Team Kaldis pulled off a hat-trick and brought home the top three awards, now that’s an awards ceremony!

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