Tony fundraising for 7-year-old Mallory

Shane O'Neal <shane@...>


Many of us on these lists work either the BP MS150 Houston to Austin or the
BikeMS Ride to the River (formerly Bike to the Beach). And many of us know,
or have heard of Tony Ralf KE5ZTZ, the flambouyant VP of the National MS
Society, who is known for pulling stunts like dyeing his hair or shaving his
head every year to amuse his corporate and individual sponsors for an
extra $2K to fight MS.

Last year he rode a bike in the event in memory of his sister, Pauline. She
suffered most of her life from MS, but passed away last year due to cancer.
We hams tracked him every step of the way and provided up to the minute
status reports on his progress, which were followed by his loyal but
concerned staff who didn't want to see him end up as roadkill.

Because of his cheery disposition and crazy antics, few people would suspect
the tragedy that had befallen Tony before he came to work at the MS Society.
On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center collapsed onto the building
that Tony worked in as a financial reporter, and killed most of his
coworkers. It also put him out of a job, which is how he and his wife ended
up in Texas. He started in a lowly position with the MS Society and worked
his way up to VP in a relatively short time, because he devoted all his
energy and passion to his work. I have come to observe that Tony is a deeply
caring and extremely powerful person, who is an eternal optimist despite
events which would have broken lesser men.

I started out working these events because I love to use my radio.
Fundraising for charity was a good cover, but I really wouldn't have worked
the event the first few times if it hadn't given me a convenient excuse to
practice my art. But as I have come to know Tony better over the years, and
seen how much he personally has at stake in the cause of MS, I've started to
feel a personal connection to the event that transcends even the joy of
managing a high speed tactical net with 60+ operators that spans 150 miles
of perilous, pothole ridden asphalt.

Ironically, Tony has also come to know hams better over the years and has
developed a keen interest in what we do. So much so that he studied hard and
got his license last year. The first year I worked the event, I was his ham
"shadow". Last year, I was his Elmer, and this year, he is his own shadow.

Please come work either event with us if you can. It is good practice for
ARES operators, and is what gave me the skills I needed to be useful in
Houston last year after Ike.

If you can't work the event, but would still like to help out, read the
message below. If you're not crying by now, you will.

Shane NS5D

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tony Ralf <>
Date: Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 8:00 PM
Subject: Tony fundraising for 7-year-old Mallory

[image: Bike MS - bike to create a world free of MS] [image: An
unforgettable ride. An unbeatable destination. Bike to create a world free
of MS.] Was it destiny or divine intervention? I was born in 1955 and so
was the Lone Star Chapter of the National MS Society. I'm now employed by
that chapter! My single-minded focus is finding a cure for this disease. I
draw strength from my Champion 7-year-old Mallory Reid, who has lived with
this disease for more than half of her life.

Her innocence is spiritual. She walks through life without her daddy’s hand
anymore, he (Kelly) passed away 2 years ago. But proud mom, Michelle, has
instilled in her daughter an amazing strength for one so young.

I'll be working very hard with my colleagues and volunteers at the Bike MS:
Valero 2009 Alamo Ride to the River fundraiser on Oct. 3-4 this year, and
I've decided to try and fundraise as well! I'll be wearing a "Champs" blue
bandana, which Mallory has signed for me, and I will carry a
46-pound-weighted backpack (that's how much "Mal" weighs) throughout the
bike weekend as a physical reminder of her and the 400,000 Americans living
with this disease.

So what's the return on your investment beyond knowing you've helped move us
closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis? At the point my fundraising
passes $2,500, I will dye (permanent color) my hair PINK, because that's
Mallory's favorite color, and so bring a smile to her gorgeous face! So
give, give, give if you take pleasure in me looking silly in public! I'll
keep the color through the end of the ride on Oct. 4, and post a photograph
on my Facebook for your review...

I've created team "Mallory's Posse" as a rallying cry for my fundraising, I
am not riding this year, but working alongside my colleagues and thousands
of volunteers to make our new ride a huge success. Internet links below will
take you to my personal pages where you can read more about dear Mallory.

Please support Mallory's cause and so donate to my fundraising, every small
amount is gratefully received, and every dollar will make a difference! This
year more than ever people living with MS need our financial help, because
the financial burden of this disease will be even greater as we all work our
way through the current economic challenge.

My page:
Team page:

Thank you for being in my life. Best regards. Tony

P.S. If you would like more information about the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society, how proceeds from our events are used, or the other ways
you can get involved in the fight against MS, please visit

Click here to visit my personal
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web

Click here to view the team page for Mallory's
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web

[image: National Multiple Sclerosis

Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a
difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by
talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS
Society at or 1-800-FIGHT-MS (344-4867).

Our postal address is:
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
733 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10017

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