CITGO Petroleum Corp. joined its marketers and retailers across Wisconsin in supporting Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) fund-raising events this year, helping to raise over $350,000 to benefit local MDA chapters and fund research into neuromuscular diseases.
CITGO employees and its community of marketers and retailers have sponsored the MDA for almost 30 years, collecting over $180 million through MDA-linked activities since 1986 that include golf tournaments, bowling tournaments, walk-a-thons and auctions.
“It is thanks to the generosity of our partners, especially CITGO and its local Marketers, who have been valued, long-time supporters of the MDA, that we are able to hold such successful local chapter events,” Emily Straw, executive director of MDA Southern Wisconsin, said in a press release. “With the funds from these Muscle Team and Toast to Life initiatives, we’ll work to continue fulfilling our mission of conducting research, providing health care services and support to local MDA families, and raising awareness about neuromuscular diseases.”
In Wisconin, MDA Muscle Team events in Madison and Milwaukee gave many children with MD there — known as the MDA Buddies – a chance to spend time with their favorite sports stars in August and November.
Among those meeting their MDA Buddies in Madison in late summer were former Green Bay Packers Gilbert Brown and Santana Dotson and University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger Men’s Hockey Coach Mike Eaves and Softball Coach Yvette Healy. At Milwaukee’s Muscle Team Gala in November, Khris Middleton and Michael Carter Williams of the Milwaukee Bucks helped to set a new fund-raising record for that event’s five-year history. Both Muscle Team events included silent and live auctions where attendees could bid on unique sports packages, signed souvenirs, trips, and other treats.
Also in November, the second annual MDA Toast to Life featured a raffle and silent auction, with all earnings directed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. There are over 70 ALS patients currently registered with the MDA Green Bay chapter, making this a cause of significant local importance.
Miss Wisconsin, Rosalie Smith, took part in all three MDA events, meeting and chatting with MDA Buddies, and helping with the silent and live auctions.
A state CITGO marketer, Garrow Oil, was the title sponsor of the Toast to Life and donated items to the raffle and auction, including CITGO gift cards. “Supporting the MDA has been a CITGO priority for nearly 30 years, as the organization has an impact at both a national and local level,” said Alan Flagg, CITGO assistant vice president of Supply and Marketing. “We’re grateful that our local Marketers … step up year after year to join us in supporting these MDA chapters in the Wisconsin area.”