Employees Ride to Raise $300,000 for Multiple Sclerosis
Greg Barbay is the leader of an effort that has raised more than $300,000 over the past eight years for the fight against multiple sclerosis. But for him, it’s not about the money, it’s about the people.
Barbay is captain of Team Dow for the Louisiana MS150 bicycle ride. For this year’s event, Oct. 10 and 11, the team had 60 members, raising about $50,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
“Each year it gets bigger and bigger,” Barbay said. “I enjoy it. It’s a pleasure meeting so many people. You get to meet co-workers, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, everybody. It is a way to make great connections and good friends.”
Participants solicit sponsors to donate to the MS Foundation on their behalf. They begin at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, and ride their bicycles 75 miles north to Percy Quin State Park in McComb, Mississippi. Then, on Day 2, they make the return trip.
“It’s a ride, not a race,” Barbay pointed out. “The first year I rode, it was because I wanted to see if I could do it. For many people, it’s not just about raising money for MS, it’s about seeing if they can ride 150 miles.”
But make no mistake, the money is important.
“The drugs for multiple sclerosis are very, very expensive,” Barbay said. “Plus, a lot of the money goes to research, trying to find a way to cure it.”
Barbay and other members of Team Dow also recruit corporate sponsorships. This year, 21 companies donated at least $1,000 each to the effort. Dow also provides jerseys to all team members, and is a Gold Sponsor of the overall event.
Barbay has worked for Dow for 35 years, the last 15 of them in hydrocarbon research. His involvement with the MS150 was encouraged by a coworker, and his commitment was strengthened several years later when that coworker’s wife was diagnosed with MS.
“I figure I’ll keep doing this for several more years,” Barbay said.