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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: MU's Rockin' Against Multiple Sclerosis philanthropy continues to evolve

February 8, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST

If you can't see the video above, you can view it on Vimeo here.

Lillian Robinson is a member of the Relations Committee for Rockin’ Against Multiple Sclerosis Steering Committee.

Rockin’ Against Multiple Sclerosis, or RAMS as it’s more commonly called, is a University of Missouri philanthropy that has been thriving for over 22 years. It’s an organization I’ve been a part of since 2011, and it is a cause I believe very strongly in.

Over the years, RAMS has seen various events, venues and name changes come and go. The ever-popular Rock-It, a lip-syncing and dance routine competition, used to be called ROCKETS in 1996 and was held at Good Time Country. Since we’ve moved from there to the Holiday Inn Expo Center, out to Midway, and it is now hosted at The Blue Note. Comedy Night has been making people laugh since 2001, and is still going strong today. Speaker Night educates MU students on what multiple sclerosis is, and the speakers give insight into what life is like living with MS. Our RAMS Flashback video takes a look at how our organization has grown and thrived over the years.

Change is great. Our organization’s fundraising goal for the 1995 season was $15,000. In contrast with the $75,000 we raised last year, it’s practically peanuts. With the money that RAMS raises, the MS Institute is able to purchase wheelchairs, cooling vests, ramps and many other necessities to improve the quality of life of people living with MS. Now we’re adding three new events to create new opportunities for RAMS, now and in the future.

Beyond raising money for the MS Institute, RAMS is very service oriented group, which is where I see our organization making the most impact. Over 150 MU students will participate RAMS Service Day at the homes of Mid-Missouri MS Institute clients in 2013. Many people with MS just need help around the house, cleaning windows, dusting, rearranging furniture or doing yard work. Last year, I took a group of fellow MU students on a service project and all we did was clean a woman’s car, and yet she thanked us to no end. Simple things such as that really mean a lot to people with MS. During another project I went on this past year, we did light housework but ended spending most of the time chatting with the family. It’s a small, but very meaningful time that we spend in lives of people living with MS, and if we have even the least bit of power to make a positive impact, then I believe we should go for it full force.

RAMS has blossomed from a week long event in 1993 to RAMS season that transforms the entire month of February. I’m so proud to be a part of an organization that is doing so much good in our Columbia community, and also one that creates events that people can derive fun and enjoyment from. I cannot wait to see where the next five, ten or fifteen years will take Mizzou RAMS.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor Joy Mayer.