Tour De Farms raises $1.3M for MS research

By Keith Hernandez

More than 1,800 cyclists and 250 volunteers gathered for one of the largest charity events in Illinois on Saturday and Sunday at the Convocation Center.

Participants in Bike MS: Tour De Farms raised more than $1.3 million for multiple sclerosis research. Individuals and teams, some with multiple sclerosis, rode on 15 to 125 mile courses in DeKalb.

Becky Boonman, 60, of Chicago, said she and her husband, Ceen Boonman, 65, came out to ride and support Ceen’s two siblings, who are affected by multiple sclerosis. Individuals with white jersey’s not only rode for multiple sclerosis, but rode with the disease, too.

“They’re the real rock stars,” Becky said. “Not us.”

Todd Frauendorfer, 50, of Aurora, rode in the event with a white jersey. Frauendorfer, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, celebrated his 50th birthday Friday night.

“We had fun, had a lot of laughs sharing old stories and probably had a few more cocktails than I should have before going for a bike ride but we’ll do our best today,” Frauendorfer said.

Holly Messick, president of the Greater Illinois chapter of the National Sclerosis Society, cheered on the first waves of riders as they took off. This was the first Bike MS: Tour De Farms for Messick.

“It feels great to see the work that the team has done,” Messick said. “1,800 riders coming together, and people fundraising for life-saving research and programs and services for people living with MS, as well as their loved ones, so it’s really inspiring.”

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