The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Gold Metal Recyclers, Genzyme, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Questcor, PaperCity Magazine and Culture Map Dallas raised awareness and funds for the 8th Annual On the Move Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas on Friday, October 10 from 11:30am-1:30pm.
The annual luncheon, raised funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis, and featured Country Music Artist Julie Roberts. Diagnosed with MS at the age of 27, Roberts is building awareness of the disease through National MS Society events. On October 10, Ms. Roberts shared her personal story living with MS and performed songs from her current album, “Good Wine & Bad Decisions.” Additionally, she has donated a portion of sales from this album to the Society to support research and programs to help people living with MS.
Having already spent much of her life singing and performing, Roberts first stepped into the national spotlight with 2004’s self-titled debut album. Fueled by the top 20 Country smash, “Break Down Here,” “JULIE ROBERTS” quickly earned RIAA gold for sales in excess of 500,000, as well as a plethora of critical praise. “One of the most auspicious debuts in years,” declared Entertainment Weekly in an “A” rated rave. “(Roberts) cuts through country’s dross to find its bluesy heart. In choosing songs of substance and sensuality, the South Carolina native harks back to the confessional style of Linda Ronstadt, packing hidden hurts and dashed dreams into every chorus.” The New York Times agreed, praising “JULIE ROBERTS” as “an album full of addictive and complicated love songs,” further naming “Break Down Here” as “one of the year’s best country ballads.”
Roberts is an undeniable sensation, making a wide range of national TV appearances, including three memorable performances on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and five appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America, not to mention being paired alongside Rihanna in Clinique’s “HAPPY” campaign. In addition, she was the first-ever focus of CMT’s In The Moment, documenting how she rose from Universal Music Group Nashville assistant to a breakout star in her own right. Multiple honors also followed, including an array of nominations from the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, and the CMT Awards.
Having spent years touring and recording, Roberts took a brief hiatus from music to recharge her batteries and confront a number of personal challenges. She returned stronger than ever with 2011’s “ALIVE” and the “WHO NEEDS MISTLETOE?” holiday EP, both released via her own independent Ain’t Skeerd Records. The Yuletide-themed EP received critical hosannas across the board, with the New York Times hailing it as “Ms. Roberts’s best work since her smoldering self-titled 2004 debut. Like that album, this EP is spare and desperate-sounding, with plenty of spaces for Ms. Roberts’s lovely husky voice to seep into.”
Now, with the imminent release of “GOOD WINE AND BAD DECISIONS,” Roberts is eagerly anticipating a full-scale return to the road, with plans calling for nearly non-stop touring long into the indefinite future. She is also quick to point out that, despite her ongoing battle with MS, she is more than prepared to tackle whatever challenges the endless highway might offer.
“I want people to know that I can still do whatever I want,” she says. “It’d be way more stressful for me to not be doing what I love. I would worry more for my health sitting home than playing shows every night. That’s where I love to be,” said Ms. Roberts.
Serving as Honorary Chair for this year’s luncheon was Mrs. Suzanne Robertson from Park Cities, Texas. The 2014 Novartis Person on the Move Award was presented to the Wynne family, honoring the legacy of Dee Wynne. Three decades ago, Ms. Wynne’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis became a focal point for a vigorous local effort to raise awareness and funds to support research. In 1985, with the help of three friends, she founded the Yellow Rose Gala to benefit MS research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. During the next 15 years, it brought in millions of dollars as one Dallas’ premier fundraisers. In 2001, the last Yellow Rose Gala raised $2 million. Dee Wynne passed away in March of 2014, but her legacy survives her. The National MS Society is proud to recognize Dee’s incredible efforts to end MS and celebrate her lasting impact on the Dallas community. 1
Flower Mound Resident, Community Philanthropist and MS Ambassador, Tami Ryan shared her own personal story about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and living with this disease.
Dr. Pete Deison, Associate Pastor, Park Cities Presbyterian Church, delivered the luncheon invocation.
On the Move is a nationwide program created to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. Each year, On the Move luncheons bring men and women together to encourage people to give from the heart to support their family members, friends and colleagues whose lives are touched by MS and educate communities about multiple sclerosis.
Seen in the crowd: Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Robertson, Janie Robertson, Lindsey Harrison Frattarelli, Marco Frattarelli, Paula Harrison, Patrick Sands, Paula North, Ken Goldberg and Neil Goldberg.
NMSS4-Pam O'Brient, Taylor Mallia, Tami Ryan
For additional information about the luncheon, please visit onthemovetx.org or contact Shannon Nelson at 469-619-4704 or TXMSLuncheon@nmss.org.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move forward with their lives. In 2013 alone, the Society invested $48 million to support more than 350 new and ongoing research projects around the world while providing programs and services that assisted more than one million people. The National MS Society serves more than 68,000 Texans affected by multiple sclerosis, including 22,000 diagnosed with the disease. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at nationalMSsociety.org.
Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800- 344-4867.
1 Peppard, Alan. "Dee Wynne, 61, raised millions for MS Studies after her diagnosis." Dallas News. Dallas Morning News, 05 March 2014. Web. 06 August 2014 accessed. http://www.dallasnews.com/obituary-headlines/20140305-dee-wynne-61-raised-millions-for-ms-studies-after-her-diagnosis.ece
Photos by Kristy Morgan