Neelima Yelamanchili and Michael Toner of Business Wire’s Washington, DC office volunteered recently as part of the Muscular Dystrophy’s Greater Washington Area chapter Muscle Walk. Their contribution of time goes toward Business Wire’s goal of investing 5,000 hours of community service in honor of the company’s 50th birthday this year.
“I took part in the Jerry Lewis Telethon as part of a dance troupe when I was younger and wanted to do something for the organization again,” says Yelamanchili. “While it’s easy for me to walk, climb stairs, stand and sit, I know how hard those simple tasks are for those with MD.”
Toner and Yelamanchili cheered on the walkers with enthusiastic high-fives and kept the food and water tables stocked. Toner helped liven the crowd with his juggling skills and sharing his props and some tips with aspiring jugglers.
The local chapter’s Muscle Walk, a family-based event with more than 60 teams participating, serves to honor and raise funds for the children and adults served by The Greater Washington Area MDA. Many of the teams are headed by someone with a type of muscle disease, or a parent of a child with muscle disease. It’s an opportunity for them to fight back against MD, to help raise funds for research for cures and treatments, and to fund other services through MDA.
“Getting out of bed early one Saturday morning was such a small effort compared to the physical challenges those with MD face every day,” says Yelamanchili. “It was wonderful to see families and friends walk with and for their loved ones.”