After walking 3,300 miles across the country the past 187 days from Massachusetts to San Diego to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease that can limit movement, 27-year-old Stephen Homsey is scheduled to begin his final day’s walk in La Mesa at about 7 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 18. He plans to cross his finish line on Friday afternoon at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, 4000 Loews Coronado Bay Road in Coronado. The public is invited to attend Homsey’s planned 3 p.m. arrival at the hotel. There is no cost to attend.
Hotel general manager Brian Johnson and his hotel employees are planning a celebratory finish line reception for Homsey, along with his friends and relatives, including his mom Linda Homsey. The hotel also is providing Homsey with a complimentary pampering weekend that will include a foot massage, dinner, champagne brunch and overnight accommodations in one of the resort’s bayside villas.
The public is invited again to meet Homsey in person on Saturday evening, Nov. 18 at the same Coronado hotel at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 25th annual MS Dinner Auction, a black-tie charity event that will draw more than 600 guests bidding on more than 700 silent and live auction items valued at more than $800,000. Homsey will be recognized at the MS Dinner Auction.
About $450,000 is expected to be raised at the fundraiser for multiple sclerosis research and programs for people with MS, a chronic, unpredictable and disabling disease of the central nervous system with no known cause, cure or prevention. Traditionally held on the Saturday before the week of Thanksgiving as a jump-start to holiday shopping, the MS Dinner Auction is considered as one of San Diego’s largest annual charity auctions. Tickets to the MS Dinner Auction begin at $150 per person, and packages with overnight stays are available. Pacific Wealth Management of San Diego is the title sponsor of the fundraiser. For more information, including a list of auction items, or to purchase tickets, visit www.MSdinnerAuction.com.
“Stephen will be introduced at our fundraising dinner, and our guests will have an opportunity to meet him in person and ask him about his incredible adventure,” said Rich Israel, chapter president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Pacific South Coast Chapter in San Diego. “We have been following his progress across the country, and have been cheering him on.”
Homsey began his journey on May 10 from his hometown of Winchester, Mass. Along the way, he has collected about $9,000 in donations from individuals. He plans to donate the money for MS research. Homsey does not have the disease himself, but he said an injury gave him the inspiration to do something to help those with MS, a chronic, unpredictable and disabling disease of the central nervous system with no known cause, cure or prevention. In May 2009, he fell 40 feet off a Boston apartment building, leaving him immobile for two months and unable to walk for six. During his recovery from a broken back, two broken heels, a broken left ankle and one broken wrist in two places, Homsey said he developed a greater understanding for people with MS.
“During my rehabilitation I realized how lucky I was and how fragile life is,” said Homsey, a 2008 Virginia Tech graduate. “In the many hours of down time I was able to do research about multiple sclerosis. I could relate to the loss of mobility. Fortunately mine was temporary, but there are many people who are not so fortunate. With my second chance I made a vow to make the most out of every day and give back as much as I could.”
Homsey crossed the California state line on Nov. 1. Details of his trip can be viewed at his website, www.steps4MS.org. Also, online donations can be made online at the website.
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