“Thank you, it’s very good to be here with all of you today. My daughters

Hayley Elizabeth and Michaela Rose were also relentless in their efforts to

raise awareness and funds. After their mother was diagnosed with multiple

sclerosis, Hayley formed a Walk MS team, Hayley’s Hope, and over the

course of eight years raised more than $55,000. In 2007, as Hayley prepared

to attend Dartmouth College, Michaela was about to launch her own Walk MS

team, Michaela’s Miracle. To honor their memory and the mark they made

against MS, the Petit MS Youth Award was established three years ago. The

award is presented each year to a young person in our community who

compels others to engage and raises awareness and funds to fight MS.


Erica Jessen, of Simsbury, exemplifies everything we want to recognize with

this award. Since her mother’s diagnosis of MS in 2001, Erica has been

consistently active compelling others to support her Walk MS team which was

named in honor of her mother, Maureen Jessen. As Maureen became more

involved in other MS campaigns, it was Erica who made sure Team Maureen

made its mark.


In both 2008 and 2009, Erica raised more than $5,000 individually and Team

Maureen exceeded the $8,000 mark. Erica has spoken before large crowds,

sharing with audiences her love for her mother and her passion to help find a

cure. Erica’s dedication and hard work will be evident this fall when she

heads to Annapolis to begin classes at the United States Naval Academy. For

all of her hard work, determination and fervor, I am proud to honor Erica



Sunday March 7, 2010 Rocky Hill Marriott