The Penguin Icebreakers, a Youngstown State University student recruitment and ambassador organization, teamed up with the Bike Multiple Sclerosis Movement to host the second annual benefit for multiple sclerosis. The event was hosted at Quaker Steak and Lube in Sharon, PA. Monica Mastran-Czopor, assistant director of YSU Admissions and organizer of the MS benefit, said the Penguin Icebreakers have been selling bracelets to raise money for MS.
“Penguin Icebreakers does a lot with philanthropy and many other charities. They have been selling rubber bracelets prior to the benefit and as well as at the benefit. The bracelets are one dollar,” said Mastran-Czopor.
Mastran-Czopor said that an admission charge helped the benefit.
“Tickets are $20 a piece, which included the buffet at Quaker Steak and Lube. All of the proceeds that are collected go for MS research and the Cure of Tomorrow, which is programs basically for people living with MS,” Mastran-Czopor said.
Greg Whelan, marketing manager at Quaker Steak and Lube said the restaurant is always constructing events to help out the community.
“It’s our 39th year in business; we call this our year of giving back. We try to do things to make a larger impact on the community. We do whatever we can to help anybody,” Whelan said.
Aaron Burnworth, director of the MS benefit, explained the entertainment provided at the event.
“We have DJ Platter providing entertainment, a special appearance from the Pittsburgh Pirates mascot and over $10,000 worth of prizes for a Chinese auction,” Burnworth said.
Whelan said the event acquired a lot of preparation to get the word out to achieve such a large turnout.
“It took lots of planning and preparation. We went to Facebook to get the word out. With over 14,000 likes, it’s a good way to get the word out. We are also involved in an email club and text club as well,” Whelan said.
AJ Sutton, vice president of the Penguin Icebreakers, said it takes a lot of time to make the event happen.
“From collecting money, to setting up at Quaker Steak, we are always working hard. Since this is the second year we have been affiliated with the benefit, we have more participation, more volunteers to help make the event such a success,” Sutton said.
“The biggest thing is set up for the event, but with all of the volunteers, we don’t have to do it alone. But my biggest focus of being the organizing committee is putting to get the donor list for the Chinese auction, live auction items or sponsors for the event,” Mastran-Czopor said.
Mastran-Czopor and Burnworth both have family members that have MS.
Sutton explained that he also became involved with the MS benefit because he has a family member that has MS.
“I feel like people don’t know a lot about the disease. I want to help spread awareness to show how MS affects people life, to make people become more aware,” Sutton said.