donors browsing by tag


The Hall of heroes that keeps me walking

Written by on Aug 22, 2012

Six years ago, the Nintendo Wii came out. As someone who was raised with Mario and Zelda, I was first in line at the game store to get the new video game console. As I'm also Computerworld's youngest editor, I didn't share this interest with many co-workers, but I nonetheless brought the Wii to our annual editorial retreat, figuring it would be a novelty.

Sure enough, the intuitive way in which the Wii's tennis and bowling games are played made it a hit. As he tried the bowling game himself, one co-worker, Mark Hall, commented that his late mother, an avid bowler, would probably have lived longer had she been able to enjoy her favorite sport in this low-impact, risk-free fashion. I empathized, saying that I hoped my mother would similarly enjoy the Wii, since she's not as physically active since being diagnosed with MS.

Mark paused his swing and looked at me. "My wife has MS," he said — not a secret, but not one we expected to have in common.

Although I was still Computerworld's newest hire, had just met Mark and had never met his wife Cathie, and had been doing the MS Challenge Walk for only two years at that point, I boldly solicited them in my fundraising efforts, sending them a letter that concluded, "I am truly grateful for your support and feel fortunate to be able to walk the paths of Cape Cod for those who cannot." What I received in return was more valuable than any impact on my bottom line.

I have noted on this blog and in person what I first do when I receive someone's donation in the mail: I look not at the value of the check, but at the donor's words of encouragement. Every year, Cathie — whom to this day I have still not met — takes a deeply personal and generous perspective that she shares in a note enclosed with her donation. With her permission, I am sharing her letter this year:

Letter from Cathie Hall

A transcript of the above scan follows:

Dear Ken,

I am compelled to echo your own words, in your fundraising letter:

"I am truly grateful…" for your and others' consistent MS fundraising efforts and participation in MS Challenge Walk(s)!!!!! Year after year.


"I feel fortunate…" to have been the beneficiary of consistent support & aid from family, friends, and even strangers during my 30 years face-to-face with MS; to have a life better than I imagined it would be.

I send you Mark's and my contribution to your 2012 Cape Cod 50-mile Challenge Walk for MS; our very best wishes for perfect walking weather, Sept. 7—9; and my deep, heartfelt appreciation for all you do to defeat MS!

Thank you!

Cathie Hall

I am humbled and awed by the spirit of individuals such as Cathie. It is for heroes like them that I am glad to walk, peddle, and cheer my way across Cape Cod time and time again, until it is no longer necessary.

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

Fundraising and team-spirit contests

Written by on Jun 19, 2010

Raising $1,500 is a challenge for all walkers. The NMSS's goal is to support and encourage your fundraising efforts every step of the way. With that in mind, we are offering two special fundraising incentives for walkers and teams at the Challenge Walk.

One of the keys to successful fundraising for the MS Challenge Walk is to ask absolutely everyone for support. The more donors you solicit, the more donations you get! The walker with the highest number of donors as of August 15th will "feel the love" and receive special recognition along the walk route and lunch stop each day and during the evening programs.

Another important part of the MS Challenge Walk is teams, which help their members strive for even greater heights. The team with the highest per-walker fundraising average as of August 15th will also be given special recognition along the walk route each day and during the evening programs. In addition, they will receive premium transportation on Sunday from the Wixon School Prefinish BBQ to the Hyannis Transportation Center before the finish line walk and closing ceremony.

Keep up the good work fundraising and recruiting others to join the movement at the MS Challenge Walk. We need your help in continuing to grow this wonderful event. Don't forget to utilize the new and exciting MS Challenge Walk videos on YouTube as a fundraising and recruitment tool.

If you would like to discuss your fundraising campaign and brainstorm new fundraising strategies, please contact us at or 800-344-4867 option 2. You can also sign up to receive regular email updates , including a weekly fundraising idea.

Todd, formerly the Director of Development for the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is now the the Regional Director of FAS Capital Giving at Harvard University. In addition to reading his blog posts, you can also find Todd on Twitter.

Donors' words of encouragement

Written by on Jun 11, 2010


It's what's inside that counts.

As I wrote last week, I do almost all my fundraising via postal solicitation. A few people donate online, but more than half of my donations arrive as checks. When my self-addressed stamped envelopes come back to me, I eagerly rip them open and look not for the amount of the check, but to see what else they included. For me, the arrival of the SASE is a giveaway that they've donated at all. The amount is irrelevant; it's knowing that I have their support that matters. But what really lifts my spirit are the personal words of encouragement many donors choose to include with their checks. Sometimes it's on the back of my fundraising letter mailed back to me; sometimes it's on a sticky note; other times, they include their own cards. Whatever the medium, and whether they come from close friends or from those with whom my only communication is this fund drive, these notes let me know that what my teammate Kahm and I are doing is important.

Here are the reasons I'm walking so far this year:

Keep up the good work! Hope the MSchief Makers do well. Good luck to U & Kahm! Give your mom our best! Glad 2-B of some help…

Good luck with the walk!

Good luck in the MS Challenge Walk! I hope your team reaches its goal! Cheers!

Nice to see you'll be joined by Kahm, Ken! 

Thanks so much for doing this every year, Ken — you rock! Best wishes for a great walk and for an end to MS!

Good luck, Ken & Kahm! We wish you the best with your walk!

Good luck Kenny!

Keep walking for my cousin! He continues to battle & win his fight but would of course love a cure for all!

Good luck and have fun! 

Thank you for all you do and for letting me again be part of your walk. Happy walking!

Good luck Ken! 

Good luck with your fund drive. "Hi" to your parents. Hope they & you are doing well.

Good luck!

We are ever proud of all the wonderful things you do! Keep it up! Good luck with the walk and with fighting MS.

Seeing all this support in one place… I'm a bit choked up to know that what we do does make a difference.

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.