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    We support Can Do MS because they help people every day. Research for a cure is great, but we also feel it is important to help people living with multiple sclerosis live a full life. We are big proponents and supporters of lifestyle programs and are pleased to help Can Do MS support scholarships for people to attend programs.

    Andrew K., The Laurence Polatsch Memorial Fund

    Vertical Express at Squaw Valley Helps People with Multiple Sclerosis Live Fuller Lives

    Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Shannon Fern
    Communications Strategy Group

    Vertical Express at Squaw Valley Helps People with Multiple Sclerosis Live Fuller Lives
    Ski or ride March 1 and 2 to make a difference in the lives of people living with MS at an on-snow fundraiser

    Lake Tahoe, Calif. (February 12, 2014) — Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy the best Squaw Valley has to offer, all while benefiting lifestyle empowerment programs for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), March 1 and 2, 2014, at Vertical Express for Can Do MS. This annual skiing extravaganza at Squaw Valley Ski Resort will celebrate the 30th anniversary of, and raise funds for, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit and innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs that help families living with MS.

    Skiers, boarders and telemarkers of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to challenge themselves in an on-mountain poker run; participate in a dual slalom race; and enjoy festivities with friends and families at an après party all while celebrating Can Do MS founder, Jimmie Heuga, the first American ever to medal in Olympic ski racing. The Squaw Valley event is one of four nationwide Vertical Express events that together have raised more than $11 million in their 30-year history. Can Do MS hopes to raise $27,000 at this year’s event.

    “Vertical Express is an event that ties together one of our founder’s greatest loves, skiing, with his lifelong commitment to inspire and empower people with MS to enjoy a better quality of life,” said Heidi A. Heltzel, president and CEO of Can Do MS. “We invite anyone whose lives have been touched by MS, as well as those who simply love to enjoy winter sports, to join us for all or part of this multi-day celebration that showcases what one can do while making a meaningful difference for those living with MS and their families.”

    Event registration is only $25 and benefits Can Do MS programs, which are offered free of charge and serve 10,000 people annually. However, with waiting lists for Can Do MS programs, fundraising events like this will help Can Do MS meet the demand. Supporters who raise $250 or more are awarded VIP status and receive prizes, such as a one-day lift ticket, a gift bag and perks at the awards party. VIP supporters who raise $500 or more will receive a two-day lift ticket. Participants can register online at to start fundraising and will receive a personal web page they can customize with their own messages and photos, allowing them to honor loved ones touched by MS and inspire others to support their participation.

    The two-day event includes a variety of family-friendly activities.

    DAY ONE: Saturday, March 1
    7:30-9:30 a.m.: Registration and breakfast. Location: TBA
    9:45 a.m.: Group photo. Location: Mt. Challenge starting line
    10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Mt. Challenge poker run; all participants must register by 9:30 a.m. Location: Mt. Challenge
    12-1:30 p.m.: Lunch/break.
    1:30-3:30 p.m.: Dual slalom race. Location: Exhibition Run
    4-6 p.m.: Après ski party. Location: TBA

    DAY TWO: Sunday, March 2
    7:30 a.m.: VIP awards breakfast. Location: TBA
    10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Free skiing for all VIP participants who raise $500 or more.

    Not only does this year’s Vertical Express event celebrate the 30th anniversary of Can Do MS, but it also memorializes the 50th anniversary of Can Do MS founder Jimmie Heuga’s Olympic medal in ski racing – the first ever won by an American. Heuga grew up near Lake Tahoe and began skiing at Squaw Valley at the age of 2. At age 15, he was the youngest man ever named to the U.S. Ski Team.

    For more information or to register for the event, visit

    Vertical Express for Can Do MS national sponsors include Vail Marriott Mountain Resort, Biogen Idec, Teva Neuroscience and Swany America Corp. The Squaw Valley event is sponsored locally by Dragonfly Restaurant, Hermitage Brewing Company, Tied House Brewing & Cafe, Studio Eight Yoga, Questcor and Squaw Valley Ski Resort.

    About Can Do MS

    A national nonprofit organization based in Avon, Colo., Can Do MS is an innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life. For more information, visit the organization’s website at or call 970-926-1290.

    About Vertical Express for Can Do MS

    Vertical Express for Can Do MS began when Can Do MS founder Jimmie Heuga organized the first Snow Express for MS in Alyeska, AK. Original participants included fellow world-class skiers Jean Claude Killy, Phil and Steve Mahre, Billy Kidd, Stein Eriksen and Bernhard Russi, who together broke records when they skied one million vertical feet in 24 hours. This event raised the seed money needed to start Can Do MS and it continues to be an important fundraiser for the organization.


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    PO Box 5860 Avon, CO 81620 Phone: 970-926-1290 or 800-367-3101 Fax: 970-926-1295 Email:
    MS Coalition Charity Navigator Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Independent Charities of America Humane Charity

    Can Do Multiple Sclerosis™ is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Charitable Organization Number: 74-2337853

    Formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis | Founded by Jimmie Heuga

    A national nonprofit organization, Can Do MS is a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs
    that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life.

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