The Utah chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will honor two major contributors to scientific research and medical care worldwide along with 10 other community leaders and athletes during its 30th annual Dinner of Champions Sept. 10

The gala and fundraiser at the Little America Hotel, 500 S. Main, is sponsored by the McCarthey family. It raises money for MS research and local education and service programs.

This year, John A. Moran will receive the T.K. McCarthey Silver Hope Award and Dr. Mario Capecchi will receive the Man of the Year Award.

John Moran is perhaps best known as the namesake benefactor of the John Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah. His accomplishments span decades and continents. He has directed more than 30 organizations and companies. Research at the eye center helps people with MS, who often have sight challenges due to the disease.

Capecchi won the Nobel Prize in medicine this year for his molecular biology and genetics research the past 35 years at the U.

Kevin Pfunder is being honored for his Walk MS team fundraising success — $65,000 the past five years.

Heather Boies, Above and Beyond award, has contributed to the internal operation and success of the state chapter in several capacities.

Dick Motta, Professional of the Year, is a former Weber State and NBA coach who began playing professionally in 1969.

Lindsey Vonn, Sportsperson of the Year, is being cited for her inspirational competitive skiing.

Bruce "Woody" Woodbury will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for being the longest-serving employee, retiring in 2007 after 35 years in the U. athletic department.

Jaycee Carroll, Male Collegiate Athlete of the Year, won the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year in his senior year and was named a CollegeHoops.net All-American and an AP Honorable Mention All-American.

Ashley Postell, Female Collegiate Athlete of the Year, finished her career at the U. as the most decorated gymnast in NCAA history with 20 All-America awards.

Joe Pond, Male High School Athlete of the Year, was quarterback for the Judge Memorial Bulldog football team in the state championships and helped the school baseball team to an 11-0 record as pitcher.

Monica Schwarz, Female High School Athlete of the Year, played soccer, basketball and volleyball throughout high school.

Team of the Year, the 2008 Griffins, won the national championship for the first time in program history, the first national championship won by any athletic team at Westminster College.

Businesses and individuals may purchase tables or seats at the dinner by calling the National MS Society Utah Chapter at 801-424-0113, press option 2, by Friday, Sept. 5.


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