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Fundraiser set for April 12 in support of Ellsworth MS patient

ELLSWORTH -- Multiple Sclerosis patient Mary McHardy visited a "happy place" in her mind last week while planning for the third fundraiser supporting her and sponsored by Team M&Ms, which will take one fortunate participant to the real place in those thoughts.

The grand prize for the event, to be held Saturday, April 12, at the Valley Bar and Grill between Ellsworth and Prescott, is a week's stay at a Mayan Palace Resort in Mexico. McHardy, who was diagnosed with MS in November of 2004, and her family have been to the resort in Acapulco, the one offered the top prize winner during the second fundraiser around a year ago. This time, the lucky recipient will be able to choose from that one or any of four others: Riviera Maya, Nuevo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta or Puerto Penasco.

"Look at that sunset!" she exclaimed Thursday while flipping through a photo album from their trip, including the shot shown on the latest fundraiser poster, framed by palm trees with a thatch hut as the centerpiece.

The Ellsworth area resident benefits by thinking about positive things while coping with her condition. Besides the good time she experienced on vacation, 2007 was a banner year for the McHardy family because it grew, she said. She and husband, Rollie, gained four grandchildren last year (two of whom are babies) from their three children: Heather, Carrie and Bobby.

"I wish I could do more to help out," she said while in her wheelchair at the dining table of the couple's home.

Meantime, she, the family and friends are intent on making sure attendees at the upcoming fundraiser enjoy themselves. There will be a euchre tournament at 4 p.m. April 12, raffles from 7 to 9 p.m. and DJ music at 9 p.m., plus R.B.'s pork sandwiches.

In addition to the grand prize featuring accommodations for up to six adults and two children (a two-bedroom suite complete with kitchen and living room), for which tickets will be available at $10 each, sports-themed prizes have been secured. Winners will take home an autographed Green Bay Packers football, marking the 50th anniversary of Lambeau Field as well as retiring quarterback Brett Favre's final season; a Favre print; and tickets for Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins games.

Tickets will be sold for these along with prizes including a $100 Target gift card; a digital picture frame; a portable DVD player; 3M NASCAR items including a dye-cast model car autographed by a top driver; and gift certificates and more. Thomas and Betts Corporation of Hager City has donated fire rings emblazoned with Packer and Wisconsin Badger helmets for the event.

Read more in the print version of the Pierce County Herald April 2.