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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Team Cardio Express Named 2007 Top Fundraiser For Second Year
VERNON, Conn. Captained by gym owner Peter Rusconi, the Cardio Express bike team raised $46,800 in the Mohegan Sun MS Bike Tour held Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16. The event, hosted by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, attracted 230 registrants from throughout New England, raising a record $175,000 $20,000 more than that raised in 2006. The Cardio Express team, comprised of gym staff, clients and friends, has been named for a second year the event’s top fundraiser. Rusconi raised more than $34,000 and has been named the event’s individual top fundraiser.
"I’m blessed," said Peter Rusconi, who last year with his team raised $17,000. "I know firsthand how MS can affect lives. Since my diagnosis I have worked to help awareness and funds. I am compelled to do what I can for those who can no longer fight the fight. I want to make a difference in the lives of others. I want to help find a cure."
Rusconi, a native of Tolland, Conn., and the owner and operator of five Connecticut-based Cardio Express gyms, was diagnosed with MS in 2004. Since that time, he has been actively involved in National MS Society activities. In an effort to help the chapter raise awareness and educate communities on the oftentimes baffling effects of MS, Rusconi served as bike ride spokesperson in 2006 and again in 2007. He and members of his staff were featured on NextMedia billboards promoting the ride. They were also featured on KISS 95.7 FM event public service announcements (PSA), WTNH News Channel 8 event PSAs, posters and brochures and in numerous articles.
The two-day ride started and finished at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. Participants opted to complete a 25-, 50-, or 75-mile route on each day. A finish line celebration included a down-home barbeque hosted by Mohegan Sun and a wine tasting hosted by Red Bicyclette, a fine line of French table wines. Red Bicyclette donated to the tour $4,000 as well as $10 for each case of Red Bicyclette wine sold in Connecticut during the month of September.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents have multiple sclerosis, a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Over the past 11 years, more than 1,850 cyclists have pedaled more than 200,000 miles to raise approximately $750,000. Funds raise through chapter events, such as the Mohegan Sun MS Bike Tour, ensure ongoing scientific research to find and cure and the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to Connecticut residents battling MS.
The Bike MS: 2008 Mohegan Sun Ride, presented by Cardio Express, will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, and Sunday, Sept. 28. For more information on 2008 rides, please visit www.ctfightsMS.org.
CUTLINE: Peter Rusconi jubilantly crosses the finish line at the Mohegan Sun MS Bike Tour held in September. Rusconi raised more than $34,000 making him this year’s top fundraiser. His team, Cardio Express, raised more than $46,800, making it the event’s top fundraising team.
Karen E. Butler