Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's chief of staff, West Hartford
resident Mark Ojakian, has been named the 2013 Man of the Year by the National
Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Connecticut Chapter.
Ojakian, who has been a board member for the past 10 years for the organization, will be honored at a reception at The Society Room in Hartford on Thursday, Oct. 24 — his 60th birthday.
“Mark has been a tireless advocate for individuals living with and affected by MS,” said Lisa Gerrol, president of the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, in a news release. “In his role over the past 10 years as a member of the Connecticut Chapter board of trustees, he has helped raise critical funds to support local programs, such as crisis financial assistance and care management. He has also served as a powerful community ambassador, heightening local awareness of the effects of this potentially debilitating and lifelong disease.”
Ojakian has seen the effect of multiple sclerosis on his own family. His father was diagnosed with the disease in 1974 and passed away earlier this year. Years later, both his younger brother and sister were diagnosed with MS.
“While I am certainly grateful for this honor, the real goal in all of these efforts is to raise critically important funding to fight this disease,” Ojakian said in the release. “Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease, and the money we raise goes directly to those most affected. I want to thank the National MS Society and all those who attend for their help in combating MS.”
According to the release, more than 6,000 Connecticut residents have multiple sclerosis. Ojakian has raised more than $225,000 to benefit the National MS Society in his time with the organization.
The Man of the Year Celebration is open to the public, and will feature cuisine from some of the finest Hartford area restaurants, beer and wine and music. General admission tickets are $150 and there are still sponsorship opportunities available. Visit www.ctfightsMS.org or call Kara Preston at 860-913-2550 for more information.