Bicycle ride and kayaking event raise thousands for multiple sclerosis society.

Two events held to raise money for multiple sclerosis (MS) research have brought in almost $8,000 for the cause, with donations still coming.

Alabama Power’s Power Pedalers cycling team and the Alabama Power Service Organization hosted a “Dam Ride” to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Cyclists began the ride at Alabama Power headquarters in downtown Birmingham and ended the journey at Lay Dam in Clanton.

The company also hosted a kayaking event with its own $5,000 fundraising goal. Organizers said they expect to exceed that mark.

“Our state has so many opportunities to be active while taking in the beauty it has to offer,” said Jim Heilbron, Alabama Power senior vice president and senior production officer. “Cycling and kayaking are just two terrific ways to not only enjoy our state but also give back to such a worthy organization like MS.”

MS is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body, according to the MS Society. Nearly 1 million people are living with the disease in the U.S., with at least two to three times more women being diagnosed than men.

Andy Bell, president of the National MS Society Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi chapter, said the work of organizations like Alabama Power are essential to the society’s work.

“As the National MS Society celebrates 75 years of progress in 2021, we are most grateful for the creative efforts of corporate partners like Alabama Power who ensure that our momentum towards a cure continues with force,” Bell said. “The fundraisers and volunteers who participate in The Dam Ride and Kayak MS are the lifeblood of our organization’s important work. The National MS Society is most grateful for their collective efforts that move us closer to a world free of MS.”

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