Thursday, January 19, 2012

Celebrating 35 years of the MS Read-A-Thon – MS Society's Longest Running Fundraising Program

Toronto, ON - January 18, 2012 — The MS Society of Canada's Ontario Division is proud to announce the 35th anniversary of its longest running fundraising program, the MS Read-A-Thon, which raises funds to end multiple sclerosis while promoting literacy to school-aged children across the province. From January through April 2012, over 300 elementary schools will host assemblies to kick-off their participation in the MS Read-A-Thon, which will connect students to the joys of recreational reading while building awareness about this important cause. Multiple Sclerosis is the most common disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) among young adults, including children as young as 3, in Canada.

"Imagine telling a child you have the power to change the world. That's what the MS Read-A-Thon does. It gives kids the ability to improve the world inside themselves, as well as outside, and to help the people around them." — Mike Augustine, MS Read-A-Thon volunteer who lives with MS

Approximately 40,000 students in 900 schools across Canada participate in the MS Read-A-Thon each year, raising over $1 million. Participation in the program involves reading books while collecting pledges based on the number of minutes read. Proceeds fund research into the cause and cure for multiple sclerosis as well as provide services to people with MS and their families. Students participating in the MS Read-A-Thon have read 20 million books and raised more than $40 million since the program's inception in 1977.

"I like to know that I am making a difference in the lives of the people I care about. Who ever knew that reading could make such a big difference." — Courtney Gage, MS Read-A-Thon participant at top fundraising school (Bayview Glen, Toronto)

For more information about the MS Read-A-Thon visit or call 1-800-268-7582 ext. 3191.

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Media Contact: Lisa Petruzella

Supervisor, MS Read-A-Thon

1-800-268-7582 ext. 3156

About the MS Society of Canada and the MS Read-A-Thon

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is the leading voluntary organization in Canada dedicated to finding the cure for multiple sclerosis and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life. Since 1977, the MS Read-A-Thon program has been furthering the MS Society's mission by teaching children about multiple sclerosis, the importance of literacy and the value of giving back to their community. The funds raised through the MS Read-A-Thon provide services and programs to support people with MS and their families, and helps the MS Society continue to be the largest funder of MS Research in Canada. For more information about the MS Society visit

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