Florida’s Team Rocco hopes to raise $100K in Walk MS on Feb. 25

Well-known restaurateur Rocco Mangel was diagnosed with MS in 2015

Patricia Inacio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inacio, PhD |

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A women is seen walking at a fast pace while carrying a water bottle.

Rocco Mangel, the founding partner of Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, is joining the Walk MS: West Palm Beach 2024, in Florida, to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).

Walk MS events, taking place in numerous locations in the U.S., focus on raising disease awareness and money for research, with the goal of eventually helping to find a cure for the neurodegenerative disorder.

Rocco, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2015, will participate in the Feb. 25 walk alongside his family and friends, and all those who wish to join Team Rocco. His team is currently among the walk’s top five fundraisers.

The goal is to raise $100,000 to support the nonprofit’s ongoing efforts to improve MS care, according to a press release. Specifically, funds will help finance milestones that drive innovative MS research, provide life-changing services, and support a community that needs these resources on a regular basis.

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Event kicks off at Meyer Amphitheater in West Palm Beach

Before the event kicks off at 9 a.m., participants can start gathering at 8 a.m. at the Meyer Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. The walk down Flagler Drive will include two route options, one stretching one mile and the other, three miles. All routes are accessible and can accommodate mobility aids. Each route will have at least one hydration station staffed by volunteers distributing water.

This year, a new feature called Circles of Support offers an interactive way for participants to identify themselves and their connection to the MS community. Complimentary hand-held circles will exist in a number of colors: orange circles for people living with MS, green circles for those who love or support a person with the neurodegenerative disorder, and yellow circles for those who come together to support the mission to find a cure for MS.

Participants who raise a minimum of $100 will also receive Walk MS T-shirts by mail.

Those interested in supporting Team Rocco can register to walk alongside Rocco or make a donation. For every donation over $5, diners 21 and older at one of 10 Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar locations will receive a complimentary pour of tequila through the end of February. All donations are tax-deductible.

Rocco has raised more than $1 million for the National MS Society, and received the organization’s Hope Award in 2018. The restaurateur has also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer awareness and has volunteered for the ALS Association, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Toys for Tots, Tri-County Humane Society, and March of Dimes.

More features on Walk MS, including tips that can help with fundraising, are available via a smartphone app called DonorDrive Charity Fundraising App.