Anyone who can make a crowd of well-heeled guests put on red clown noses and clap enthusiastically must have some kinda personality.

That was putting it mildly, as Dr. Patch Adams was special guest at the Rocky Mountain MS Center’s annual gala on Saturday, and he had a memorable message for guests: you have the choice to be who you are, and you have a choice to be happy.

The crowd was very attentive as the eclectic Adams talked to them about some of his philosophies and took questions (but guests had to do something outlandish before they were allowed to ask). Adams has traveled the world with friends and followers dressed as clowns and other characters, and most people recognize the name from the famous biographical movie in which Robin Williams portrayed him.

This was a special evening, with comments from RMMSC CEO Gina Berg, Event Chairs Louise Richardson and Arlene Mohler Johnson, Board Chair Brett Hanselman, Denver Life Magazine’s Kristin Miller (presenting sponsor) and board member Jeff Wren, who forged a friendship with Patch Adams many years ago.

The Rocky Mountain MS Center’s mission: Improving the quality of life for individuals and their families living with MS and related neurological diseases through care, support, education and research.

The Rocky Mountain MS Center was founded in 1978 by Dr. Jack Burks and N. Daren Writer. Mr. Writer was diagnosed with MS in 1974. He was told “there was nothing anyone could do about MS,” and to “go home and put his affairs in order.” This was unacceptable to this exceptional man of action and business leader. He sought out a brilliant, young neurologist who was dedicated to finding the cause of MS and a cure for the disease. Like Mr. Writer, Dr. Burks believed something could be done for people living with MS. Together they created a single, comprehensive facility to treat people with MS and find the cause and a cure.

Since then, the RMMSC has grown and continued to provide support and research for those with MS. For more information about programs and other information, log on to www.mscenter.org.