The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lone Star Chapter is actively seeking individuals, groups and families of all ages to help with the 19th Annual Bike MS: Valero Bike to the Beach Ride 2008.

Those interested in donating their time to the event can meet with representatives from the Lone Star Chapter July 24, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the YWCA in Corpus Christi at 4601 Corona Drive to learn about the many volunteer opportunities that are available.

Valero Bike to the Beach is a two-day, 160-mile ride from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, with an overnight stay in Beeville, the weekend of Oct. 4. An anticipated 3,500 cyclists will participate this year, and more than 1,000 volunteers are needed to make it a success, organizers said.

Volunteers will receive a complimentary T-shirt and refreshments before and after their shift. Shifts generally last four hours in length, with morning and afternoon shifts offered.

Log on to to learn more about volunteering for Bike to the Beach and to register online. Key opportunities include manning breakpoints during the ride, decorating the finish line site in Corpus Christi, and helping to retrieve luggage at the finish line.

Telephone inquiries may be directed to the Lone Star Chapter's South Texas Regional Office at (210) 494-5531 (press 2) or toll-free at (800) 344-4867 (press 2).

The Lone Star Chapter serves an estimated 20,000 individuals and their families affected by multiple sclerosis in 174 Texas counties. Funds raised through Valero Bike to the Beach support research and programs sponsored by the Lone Star Chapter.

This year's ride strives to raise $1.7 million.

The Bike MS: Valero Bike to the Beach Ride 2008 is one of three fundraising rides hosted by the National MS Society, Lone Star Chapter in Texas.

Other rides include the BP MS 150 from Houston to Austin held annually in April, and the Bike MS: Sam's Club from Frisco to Fort Worth in May.