NASHVILLE, TN – TN Tribune — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA’s mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. Throughout MDA’s history, local volunteers and community have been at the heart of MDA’s mission-focused efforts.

MDA chose Tennessee, The Volunteer State, and the city of Nashville as the kick-off for its MDA Tribute Tour, to thank its volunteers who support MDA and the families it serves. MDA hosted a series of celebrations to pay tribute to valued volunteers in the Nashville community. The MDA Tribute Tour culminated with a reception at Studio A at the Grand Ole Opry House in association with Circle Network.

MDA awarded three honorees with an inaugural Tribute Award on Thursday evening during the MDA Volunteer Celebration and MDA Tribute Award event. Broadcast veteran Harold Crump, former Vanderbilt Care Center Director
Dr. Peter Donofrio and former Tennessee Titans player Tim Shaw were recognized with an MDA Tribute Award.

The awards celebration was also the finale for MDA’s Clinical & Scientific Conference, where 1,500 global healthcare leaders, renowned researchers, clinicians, academicians, advocates, and industry leaders from 14 countries around the world gathered this week at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The MDA conference is the only one in the neuromuscular disease space to combine the latest in research, clinical care, and treatment.

Notable guests who made an appearance to congratulate the honorees and volunteers were former Tennessee Titans player Will Witherspoon, country artists Wendy Moten and Dion Pride, WSM’s Bill Cody and Brenda Haywood, Nashville’s Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement.

About MDA Tribute Award Honorees

Harold Crump’s illustrious career in broadcast has influenced many, including Oprah, who gave Crump a shout out as her first boss, when she worked in Nashville at WTVF-TV. He was general manager of 21st Century Productions, where he produced syndicated music programs, network musical specials and such nationally successful programs as Candid Camera and Hee Haw. He most recently volunteered with MDA as MDA Director for Nashville and has served on the MDA’s National Board of Directors.

Peter D. Donofrio, MD worked with MDA to open the ALS Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to provide state of the art care for patients with this disabling disease. Prior to his 15 years at VUMC overseeing the MDA ALS Clinic and the MDA clinic, he was Director of the MDA clinic at Wake Forest University for 10 years. Dr. Donofrio recently retired and returned to North Carolina to be closer to family and friends. He will be accepting the award via video and recognized by many from the clinical and family community for his long-standing service.

Tim Shaw is a former NFL linebacker for the Tennessee Titans. In August 2014, Shaw revealed that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease just months after he played his most recent preseason game. The diagnosis ended Shaw’s NFL career only weeks after he turned 30. Shaw has spent the last eight years involved in various efforts to advance ALS research through better funding and helping to raise awareness about ALS using different platforms. In 2017, Shaw and Richard Sowienski co-wrote Blitz Your Life: Stories from an NFL and ALS Warrior.

About the Muscular Dystrophy Association
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of families. For more information, visit mda.org.

L-R: MDA Honoree, former GM WTVF-TV, Harold Crump; MDA Honoree, former Tennessee Titans player Tim Shaw; Dr. Donald S. Wood, President and CEO, MDA;  Kristine Welker, Chief of Staff, MDA
Back row: L – R: Drew Reifenberger, GM, Circle Network; WSM/Opry’s Bill Cody; Deputy Mayor Brenda Haywood; Dr. Donald S. Wood, President and CEO, MDA; Kristine Welker, Chief of Staff, MDA; Board Chair, Steve Farella, MDA; Brian Hughes, SVP Sales & Sponsorships, Circle Network
Front row: L – R: Former Tennessee Titans player Will Witherspoon; MDA Honoree, Honoree Tim Shaw; Country Artist Dion Pride
L – R: MDA Honoree, former GM WTVF-TV, Harold Crump & Board Chairman, MDA, Steve Farella
Dr. Donald S. Wood, President and CEO, MDA; MDA Honoree, former Tennessee Titans player Tim Shaw with trophy presentation.
L – R: MDA Honoree / former Tennessee Titans player Tim Shaw and former Tennessee Titans teammate Will Witherspoon