Ali writes: 3-16-2013 9-11-20 AMOften in our times together, we joke about proclamations. The Mayor will talk about a problem in the town, and I’ll say, “Well, why don’t you just make a proclamation? That oughta fix it!” He will glare at me good naturedly, and we both say, “If only it were that easy.” Have you ever really thought about the power of a proclamation, or read, word for word, any of the proclamations that come out of City Hall? Truly, they are moving and underscore the giving nature that makes Athens such a marvelous place to live. Below is a copy of a proclamation made recently in regard to MSA, which stands for Multiple System Atrophy, and March is the month set aside to raise awareness regarding this wasting affliction. 3-16-2013 9-11-33 AMMultiple System Atrophy Awareness Month Whereas; Multiple System Atrophy is a fatal neurological disease diagnosed in approximately 15,000 patients in the United States; and Whereas; as many as 35,000 more patients in the United States with Multiple System Atrophy are misdiagnosed with other more recognizable neurodegenerative disorders; and Whereas; patients with MSA lose the ability to walk, talk, chew, swallow and even breathe over the course of a few years; and Whereas; the incidence of MSA in the United States has increased in recent years; and Whereas; no specific risk factors or causes of MSA have been identified and; Whereas; there is currently no cure for MSA; and Whereas; the lack of awareness about MSA has hindered research and the ability of researchers to Obtain funding for their work; and Whereas; public support and greater awareness of the need for research funding can aid in the discovery of the cause of and a cure for MSA. NOW, THEREFORE, I, William R. Marks, Mayor of the City of Athens do hereby proclaim March of each year is designated as Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month to increase public awareness of this progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the autonomic functions of the body. Marena Tuberville has had to retire from her teaching job at Tanner High due to her battle with MSA. Her husband Keith is a pastor, Mayor Ronnie wanted to make us aware of what they are facing. Holly writes: A Touching Story From Celebrity Waiter’s Night “A Wisconsin couple who took the Athens exit touched our hearts tonight at Celebrity Waiter’s Night. 3-16-2013 9-11-50 AMThe couple had been staying in Florida for the winter. They received a call that the man's brother had died, so they started driving back to Wisconsin. They decided to stop and eat and took the Athens exit and chose Applebee's. Limestone County Probate Judge Charles Woodroof waited on them and explained the City of Athens Relay for Life Team was hosting Celebrity Waiter’s Night to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The man told Charles his brother had died from cancer, and he gave a $50 tip in memory of his brother. "No matter how much we raised, I had the best story of the night," Charles said. "He could have stopped at any exit and any restaurant, and he ended up here where we are fundraising to find a cure." Tonight's efforts raised $1,735.25. That is $425 more than we did in 2012. Here is the breakdown of how our Celebrity Waiters did: Jimmy Gill brought in an additional $100 and surpassed the Mayor for a total of $313. Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks: $284 Retired Circuit Court Clerk Charles Page: $224 Athens City Councilman Jimmy Gill: $213 Athens attorney Shane Black: $211 Circuit Court Clerk Brad Curnutt: $200 Local actor Frank Travis: $173 Probate Judge Charles Woodroof: $150.25 Sheriff Mike Blakely: $141 Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson: $139 That brought our overall total to $1,835.25. We also made $120 in T-shirt sales. Thanks to everyone who helped support our efforts tonight. I hope the story about the couple from Wisconsin helps put into perspective what we are fighting for.” Words and waiters have power, my fellow Athenians, and Ronnie and the rest of the crew roll with the best of ‘em. By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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