Wondering what to expect at 2022 Dinner of Champions in Roanoke, VA?
You’ve come to the right place.
Here is everything you need to know including the schedule of events, our honorees and how to register as a participant, sponsor or volunteer.
As a Guest
Individual ticket - $150
As a Sponsor
Our sponsors make this event possible. Through cash or in-kind donations, sponsors allow us to direct more dollars to fuel breakthroughs and help those affected by MS live their best lives.
Sponsorship opportunities available include recognition benefits and so much more. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society would love to customize your benefits as appropriate to your unique marketing and community outreach goals.
For questions about sponsorship, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
As a Volunteer
Each year, thousands of people across the country join the MS volunteer team. From planning event details and calling past participants to providing support for at the event, volunteers make it happen, and are the foundation of why MS fundraising events are so successful.
Contact us to learn how you can get involved.
What to Expect
The gala will begin with a cocktail hour during guest registration, followed by a dinner and program in the ballroom.
Date & Location
September 8, 2022
The Hotel Roanoke
110 Shenandoah Ave, NE
Roanoke, VA 24016
What to Wear
Formal event, black tie optional.
Tickets & Tables
Ticket and table sales close on September 7, 2022. Contact McKenna Kendrick at 540-660-2011 if interested in purchasing a table/tickets after this date.
Schedule of Events
Cocktail reception: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dinner and program: 7:00pm - 9:00 pm
Owner, Chairman and Treasurer,
John (Jack) T. Avis is Chairman and Treasurer of Avis Construction Company, Inc. in Roanoke, Virginia. Avis Construction is a full service general contractor specializing in commercial and industrial construction. He has been with Avis Construction in various capacities for 40 years and continuously for the last 33 years.
Jack has held board positions with most leading to executive board positions with Mill Mountain Theatre, Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley (CHIP), Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Backbone Club, the Shenandoah Club, VA Tech MBA Alumni Advisory Board and the Roanoke Jaycees in addition to serving on various fundraising committees.
Jack is currently on the Board of Directors of the Roanoke Higher Education Center Foundation, the Executive Committee of the Virginia Contractors Procurement Alliance (VCPA), a delegate for the Roanoke Valley Aquatic Association, and the Finance Committee for his church where he has served as an elder.
Jack has served on the Mill Mountain Theatre Board from 2003 to 2017 and served as President of the theatre for five years from 2009 to 2014. As President of Mill Mountain Theatre, Jack led the reinvention of the theatre with a core team of board members in developing and implementing a new, fiscally sound, sustainable business plan for the 58-year old regional professional theatre.
Jack has received the Virginia Society of Fundraising Executives, Young Fundraiser of The Year Award. While on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce he received the Board Member of the Year Award. In the Backbone Club he was the high producer of Chamber of Commerce memberships for five years.
Jack holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute and an MBA in Finance from Virginia Tech.
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Jack is married to Virginia (Ginger) Poole Avis and has a daughter Anne Tillison.
Ginger Poole Avis
Producing Artistic Director, Mill Mountain Theatre
Ginger Poole Avis is the producing Artistic Director at Mill Mountain Theatre. She is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and an Associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union. Originally from South Carolina and raised in Atlanta, she has worked with the N.F.L. and The Atlanta Falcons as director and choreographer and The Atlanta Opera. She has studied, taught, choreographed, and performed in Georgia, Hawaii, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia, and has worked in commercials, voice-overs, film, stage, classroom, and was profiled in the book FIRESTARTERS as “the actor”.
Prior to coming to Mill Mountain Theatre and later becoming the first woman to the lead the theatre, Ginger was based out of North Carolina where she worked with Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina, in over 25 productions. She was part of the education program for 5 years and taught for their Apprentice Companies and their Conservatory Program in acting, dance, and musical theatre. While working and performing with Flat Rock Playhouse, she had an opportunity to visit and work in Mill Mountain Theater. She was offered the job as education director at Mill Mountain Theatre in 2008 and soon learned that the failing theatre was facing financial obstacles. In early 2009, working with Board members including her future husband, Jack Avis, Ginger demonstrated her knowledge of every aspect of the theatre business. She acted in, directed and choreographed the recuperating theater’s productions, and guided the board in matters like selling tickets, building sets and eventually eliminated debt. Working together, the Mill Mountain Theatre team looks forward to its continued growth, success, and artistic influence in the region.
Ginger serves on Boards of South Eastern Theatre Conference, Junior League of the Roanoke Valley, Burton Performing Arts Advisory Board, The Roanoke City Public Schools Education Foundation, and she has served on the Review Panel for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She was the recipient of the DePaul’s Women of Achievement Award in the Arts in 2013 and was named the 2016 Kendig Award recipient for Individual Artist. She is also a guest host with WSLS, the NBC affiliate, Daytime Blue Ridge television show, and is the host of the new Mill Mountain Theatre Podcast, Meet Me at Mill Mountain.
Ginger holds her M.F.A. in Acting Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi and continues to teach acting and dance with students that range in age from kindergarten through professionals. She has taught at The University of Southern Mississippi, Western Carolina University, William Carey College, Mississippi University for Women, and currently teaches at Hollins University.
Virginia “Ginger” and her husband, Jack Avis, are the proud parents of a daughter, Anne.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Carilion Clinic
As Chief Financial Officer for Carilion Clinic, Mr. Halliwill guides his work by three primary principles: first, all of Carilion’s resources (money) are actually our patients’ resources (money); second, Carilion must achieve financial success to ensure the long-term sustainability of access to high quality, affordable health care for our communities; and lastly, over time, our goals must include reducing the growth in cost to our patients for their health care needs.
Mr. Halliwill’s passion for his work and the mission, values, philosophies and goals of his organization is rooted in the fact that he has resided in our region for most of his life. Not only does Carilion serve to enhance the health and overall quality of life for friends and neighbors, but also for four generations of both his and his wife’s family who still live in the communities we serve. Mr. Halliwill believes a recurring drive to learn and promote continuous change is the foundation for Carilion Clinic to successfully achieve our mission.
Mr. Halliwill’s priorities are his wife, Tammy, and his three sons, although he also makes time to be involved in church fellowship and volunteer his time in leadership and membership roles in a variety of organizations.
Safety and COVID-19
Thank you for your generous support – we are excited to celebrate with you safely. We've planned every detail of this event with the health and safety of our attendees, volunteers, and staff as our highest priority. Learn more about COVID-19 safety and what to expect.