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North Snohomish Haggen stores promote fundraiser for MS cure

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — North county Haggen Food & Pharmacy locations are ramping up their support for the largest annual fundraiser by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The Bellingham-based company, which has stores in Marysville and Arlington, is the presenting sponsor of Walk MS. The event will be conducted by the society's Greater Northwest Chapter on April 10-11.

North Snohomish County area residents can get involved by seeking donation pledges for a three- or four-mile walk at the Tulalip Amphitheater on Saturday, April 10.

Walk MS donations fund research to find a cause and cure for the disease, which attacks the central nervous system and can cause paralysis or other related symptoms in individuals.

"Haggen and Top Food stores are longstanding supporters of the MS movement," said Jenny Poast, vice president of development for the MS society's Greater Northwest Chapter. "We greatly appreciate their companywide involvement from store employees to vendors to the loyal customers who rally together, raising thousands of dollars to support the more than 10,000 people living with MS in our community."

The Tulalip event begins at 9:30 a.m.

If walking isn't an option for community members, they can still get involved by purchasing paper "MS sneakers" at Haggen checkout lines for a donation of $1 apiece until March 16. The sneaker can be customized with a donor's name, a personal message or a name to honor somebody living with multiple sclerosis.

Also available at Haggen stores are reusable Walk MS totes, which are available for $1.99 each. The totes were donated by Proforma Mountainview Printing of Lynden, and all proceeds go directly to the MS society.

In mid-March, customers can purchase Walk MS bottled water. Fifty cents from the sales of each case will be donated to the society.

Haggen Food & Pharmacy and TOP Food stores have raised approximately $275,000 since 2004 for the Northwest MS chapter, which serves more than 10,000 individuals living with multiple sclerosis in Washington state and Alaska.

Tulalip Amphitheater is located at 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip.

More than 1,000 participants took part in the 2009 Snohomish County Walk MS event.

To start or join a team or pledge a walker, visit www.walkms.org.

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