My friends and long-time New Tampa residents Bonnie and Bob Bishop are proud to announce that they are holding an open-to-the-public fund raiser to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society at the GrillSmith on Paseo Dr. in the Shops at Wiregrass mall on Thursday, May 24, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.

Bob, who was stricken with MS about four years ago, and Bonnie have participated in several other MS fund raisers and have wanted to do something more to help.

“People don’t realize how debilitating and strange MS can be,” Bonnie says. “Bob’s condition is supposedly ‘stable,’ but sometimes he can walk a mile with me and sometimes, he can’t make it to the mailbox on his own. Is that stable? He has a hard time not being the person he was.”

The couple is from New England (she from Massachusetts and he from Maine), so she says they first realized something was wrong when Bob, a former small college ice hockey goalie, “couldn’t skate a few feet without falling down.” He was diagnosed a short time thereafter.

For a $10 donation to the MS Society, attendees at the GrillSmith event, which is co-hosted by “Bob’s Buddies,” will receive delicious complimentary hors d’oeuvres, Happy Hour drink prices and be eligible to win free door prizes.

Plan to participate in a great silent auction of autographed Tampa Bay Lightning memorabilia, donated by their friends Sue (whom Bonnie says has helped her “so much” to put on the event) and former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk. There also will be rounds of golf, restaurant and spa gift cards and more you can win.

In addition to the Andreychuks, Bonnie thanks José Martin of Sweetbay and Joe Brooks from GrillSmith and of course, their children, Makayla and Jared. “This isn’t just about us and Bob, it’s about ‘the unknown’ and believing we can make a difference in MS,” Bonnie says. “Bob is our hero, but we know there are many more heroes like him out there.”

For more information about this great event, feel free to email — GN

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