Plans are underway for the National MS Society’s Walk MS & 5K: Baton Rouge 2015 event, set for April 18 in North Boulevard Town Square.

Area residents will step up to raise awareness and funds to support programs and services for the more than 8,800 Louisianians affected by multiple sclerosis, including over 3,700 diagnosed with the disease, a news release said.

The National MS Society has set a $138,000 fundraising goal, organizers said.

The Baton Rouge event is among a series of 32 Walk MS events taking place within the Society’s South Central, five-state region.

“Walk MS & 5K: Baton Rouge is a crucial fundraising and awareness event that contributes to the society’s overall mission,” said Becky Pennington, vice president of development for Louisiana.

Walk MS & 5K: Baton Rouge 2015 is a family-friendly event featuring a fully accessible 1-mile route and 5K race, she said. Onsite registration and check-in begins at 8 a.m., followed by a 9 a.m. start time.

There is no cost to register; however, all participants are encouraged to raise funds.

Fundraising efforts help support programs and services provided by the National MS Society, as well as fund research into the cause, treatment and cure for MS.

To register, visit walkMS.org.