HURRICANE – The fourth annual Duane Ruggier MS Golf Tournament to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society is set for May 7 at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Teays Valley.

Ruggier, who has been dealing with MS since his early 20s, came up with the idea of the golf outing to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and has raised thousands of dollars for MS research and treatment during the past three years.

“It's important for me because I have had MS for a long time and this is a great way to give back to the MS community and to be able to help those with multiple sclerosis,” Ruggier, an attorney with Pullin Fowler Flanagan Brown & Poe in Charleston, told The West Virginia Record

Ruggier said more than 60 golfers have participated in the tournament in each of the past three years, with last year’s event generating more than $7,000.

“We've had a lot of success raising money in past tournaments, and we're looking forward to another great tournament this year,” Ruggier said. “The proceeds goes to benefit the MS Society, and the MS society, especially in West Virginia has an active role in helping those with MS.”

Ruggier added that the event provides an excellent networking opportunity.

“The tournament helps to raise awareness about MS and it brings folks together from all walks of life and it's great to see all the support that we get from the community for those of us that have MS,” Ruggier said. “There's all kinds of professionals and business folks who are involved in the tournament and it's nice to see everybody out there just trying to benefit those with MS.”

Ruggier said this year’s tournament is particularly important because the Country Roads 150-mile bike event, one of the few events in West Virginia to raise money for MS, has been discontinued because of poor attendance and logistical issues.  

“We often had a MS 150 bike race and we were not able to do that this past year, so this event is one of the instances where people can support MS,” Ruggier said.

Looking to the future, Ruggier said the plan is to expand and to increase involvement.

“The more involvement or expansion you have for the event, the more awareness is raised regarding multiple sclerosis and the more things that we can do to benefit those with MS,” Ruggier said.

According to the news release, this year's prizes include a $25,000 hole in one, Sharp LCD TV/Callaway iron set, two dozen Titleist Pro VI golf balls, as well as $100 and $50 pro shop credits for the first- and second-place teams.  

Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the tournament is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

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