(Feb. 14, 2020) The third annual Manny’s Fanny Multiple Sclerosis Benefit will take place Saturday, Feb. 15, at Duffy’s Tavern on 130th Street in the Montego Bay Shopping Center, from 2-6 p.m.
Manny Lopez, 59, of Ocean City, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 26 years ago. Since then, he has made it his mission to raise awareness about the disease.
Manny’s Fanny Multiple Sclerosis Benefit originated in Florida, where he spent several years before ultimately moving to Ocean City a few years ago.
“It’s a neurological disease that really, really wreaks havoc on your immune system,” Lopez said. “After 26 years, you know, it’s just part of my life now. I have great friends and family and a lot of support. [Multiple Sclerosis] is something that doesn’t really define me.”
The inaugural Ocean City benefit in 2018 collected over $7,000 for the MS Society. Last year, around $8,400 was raised for the organization and more than 150 guests filled the bar for the event.
“Even though we haven’t found a cure, we have found methods and means of reducing the daily impact,” Lopez said. “The MS Society has been a good vehicle and I’ve experienced it firsthand. It’s a great vehicle to get information, to look at your options and gets very, very in-depth into the five or six different levels of the solutions that they’ve come up with. They do a great job of just communicating and helping people with just those couple things.”
The benefit will offer happy hour prices as well as a chance to win several prizes in the Chinese auction. Prizes include golf packages, spa packages, alcoholic beverages, tickets and memorabilia from the Baltimore Ravens, including a jersey signed by numerous players and a helmet owned and signed by Lamar Jackson, hotel stays and gift cards from local businesses. Guests can also buy tickets for a 50/50 raffle.
During the benefit, Lopez will once again conduct a “State of Address,” explaining MS and how it affects the body as well as where to send donations.
“Everybody is just really generous,” Lopez said. “I think the way [my fiancé] Bonnie and the crew there at Duffy’s set things up – it’s a social event, obviously, but it’s the way people participate in buying the baskets or entries into winning a basket. It just resonates real well with everybody.”
Tickets for the Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle must be purchased at Duffy’s. However, guests do not need to be present when the prize winners are announced. There is no cost to attend the benefit.
“It’s just a way to get everybody together for a common cause,” Lopez said. “There’s not one bad thing about that whole situation, except they haven’t cured the disease yet. But, at least this benefit will help some of the less fortunate.”
For more information, call Duffy’s Tavern at 410-250-1449.
Multiple Sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.
Symptoms may include numbness or tingling, dizziness or vertigo, walking difficulties, depression, speech and swallowing problems, hearing loss, breathing problems and tremors.
To learn more about Multiple Sclerosis or to donate directly to the organization, visit www.nationalmssociety.org.