Lemont, Ill. – Sep. 22, 2015 – For the 18th consecutive year, employees from the CITGO Lemont Refinery volunteered with TeamCITGO to ride 15 to 200 miles across the Northern Illinois countryside in the Bike MS: Tour de Farms in DeKalb, Ill., hosted by the Greater Chicagoland Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The annual charity bike ride is the largest of its kind in Illinois, bringing together riders of all skill levels in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS). 
MS is an often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts that flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, more than 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide. 
This summer, the CITGO Lemont Refinery joined the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in its two-day bike ride to raise money and awareness for family members, friends and co-workers affected by MS. This year, TeamCITGO included 25 dedicated CITGO employees, contractors and vendors from the Lemont Refinery, who raised more than $28,000 for the cause and collectively rode 2,005 miles for the charity event.  
“Bike MS offers an opportunity to accept the challenge of a great ride while raising critical funds for individuals and families who are affected by MS, which Team CITGO has done for the past 18 years,” said Greater Illinois Chapter President Holly Messick. “With thousands of participants, this is one of our largest events of the year, and we’re thrilled that so many employees of the CITGO Lemont Refinery have come together in support of our mission of a world free of MS.”
Currently in its 34th year, Bike MS: Tour de Farms welcomed 1,800 participants to this year’s race. Funds from the event go directly toward improving the lives of people living with MS in Illinois through programs, services and research to identify the cause, devise better treatments and find a cure for the disease.  
Members of TeamCITGO came together to fundraise for the event and could map their own distance, choosing anywhere between 15 to 200 miles for their ride.  
“This event is one our volunteers look forward to every year. Our employees who participate are a close-knit team, with cyclists of every level, who come together to help make a difference in the lives of those touched by this disease,” said Jim Cristman, vice-president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.
Throughout the years, the CITGO Lemont Refinery has raised more than $200,000 for critical research and programs that support individuals and families in Illinois who are affected by MS. CITGO is dedicated to supporting community organizations that are athletic- and health-minded. In addition to its commitment to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, CITGO participates in year-round volunteer efforts with the Special Olympics and Muscular Dystrophy Association. Through these partnerships, CITGO works toward fostering deep community connections and improving public health among the communities it serves. 
About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
The CITGO Lemont Refinery employs more than 800 local residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy.  In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 6,000 locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community.  Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs.  For more information on the CITGO Lemont Refinery, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, 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 www.CITGO.com.