CHARLESTON – The Second Annual Duane Ruggier MS Golf Tournament is scheduled for May 9 at Berry Hills Country Club in Charleston.

All proceeds for the tournament will go to the MS Society.

Duane Ruggier II, an attorney at Pullin Fowler Flanagan Brown & Poe in Charleston, said it is a great honor that the tournament has been named after him.

“I have a duty to raise awareness about MS and help others,” Ruggier said. “This is part of that.”

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.

Ruggier was diagnosed with MS in 1995 while he was in law school and has spent a lot of time since raising awareness about the disease.

“My children have grown up learning about MS and they have always helped me,” he said. “It’s a family affair.”

Ruggier has three children. His oldest is 20 and a sophomore at Marshall University; his middle child is 16 and a sophomore at Hurricane High School; and his youngest, 13, is a seventh grader at Hurricane Middle School.

Ruggier said when he first was diagnosed with MS, his natural reaction was to hide it. But he said he wanted to maintain an active lifestyle, and he couldn’t do that if he were to hide his disease.

“Essentially, I have publicized MS,” he said. “I’ve had tons of help from my family, my friends and the law firm, and I have been able to help others who are similarly situated.”

Ruggier said he has spent a good bit of time and work trying to make the community accessible for others who are disabled.

“My parents help, my fiancé helps, my kids help,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to have a lot of help. I want to help others, too.”

Ruggier said he was hired at the firm when he was a law clerk and is now an equity partner.

“The firm has done so much to help with my disease,” he said. “From installing a handicap bathroom in my office, to making the whole place accessible.”

Having MS, Ruggier said, has allowed him to see how helpful people are.

“I am very lucky,” he said. “MS has been a blessing to me. I have a duty to raise awareness and help others, and I have been able to do that.”

Last year, the tournament raised approximately $8,000 and had nearly 70 participants.

The tournament is sponsored by the law firm and Commercial Insurance Services. It will begin at noon on May 9 with a lunch and the actual tournament will begin at 1 p.m.

For more information on how to sign up for the tournament, contact Kevin Cushing at 304-344-0100 or by e-mail at kcushing@pffwv.com.

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