APPLETON, Wis., Oct. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Local CITGO Marketer Garrow Oil Corporation and CITGO Petroleum Corporation are teaming up to sponsor the inaugural MDA Toast to Life Gala to benefit ALS research and to honor Jane Vanden Heuvel of Little Chute, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. On Oct. 23, guests are invited to the Timber Rattlers Banquet Venue at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton to participate in the event.

"Hosting this event is important to our entire organization and we are especially proud to honor Jane and her family at this year's fundraiser," said Dawn Ver Haagh, executive director at MDA. "ALS is an extremely serious and debilitating disease which has affected many members of our community. We are pleased to pay tribute to one of our own local families that has struggled with the effects of ALS for three years now. We hope that through these events, we can lend the necessary support to bring us one step closer to finding a cure for ALS."

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, causing loss of control over muscle movement. Since Vanden Heuvel was diagnosed she has become wheelchair-bound and has lost her verbal functions. Despite her struggles with ALS, she has not given up hope and has not let the disease bring her down, maintaining the best possible quality of life and enjoying each moment she has with her children and grandchildren.

"We understand that research funding is critical in finding a cure for all the neuromuscular diseases," said Alan Flagg, assistant vice president of supply and marketing with CITGO. "That's why CITGO remains a top supporter of the MDA and we are so proud that our local Marketers share the same goals. Additionally, we thank all those who help make these events possible and are proud to support Jane and her family this year."

The MDA Toast to Life Gala will include beverage tastings and live and silent auctions featuring sports memorabilia, vacation packages, gym packages and more. The proceeds raised will directly support ALS research. For more information on tickets or sponsorships, please contact Dawn Ver Haagh, executive director at MDA, 920-499-4571.

MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat muscular dystrophy through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services and far-reaching professional and public health education. CITGO is the largest corporate sponsor for MDA, raising more than $170 million over the past 28 years through its network of independent Marketers, employees and corporate contributions.

CITGO is committed to giving back to the local communities it serves through its network of locally owned locations. CITGO Marketers and Retailers in Wisconsin, like Garrow Oil Corporation, own and operate nearly 275 CITGO locations and are proud to support their communities. For more information on the positive impact of the locally owned CITGO stations, visit

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit

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