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We want to hear from you!

Written by on September 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

As we start our planning for the 2013 event, we are eager to hear your comments about MS Challenge Walk 2012. Please take a moment to complete the online survey.  Thank you for your feedback.

Once again, thank you so much for walking at the MS Challenge Walk.  You should feel proud that your every step helped give hope to the 19,000 individuals with MS and their families in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.


Congratulations to our top fundraisers!

Top Five Individual FundraisersTop Five Fundraising Teams
Tom Olafsson$14,654The Lombardi Party$59,501
Sue Carrai$13,220Blister Buddies$38,452
Kevin Lombardi$12,430Team Brian$38,311
Stephen Urquhart$10,975Chili Head Striders$27,863
Nicholas D'Alleva$10,150Team DEA and friends$25,360

If you have not yet reached your $1,500 raised, please keep up the fundraising to help us reach our goal of over 1 million raised by the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod 2012. The last date to submit donations for the 2012 event is October 7.

Are there friends and family members who have promised to donate but have yet to do so?  We encourage you to send them and email or letter reminding them of their pledge.  We need all Challenge Walkers to reach their fundraising goals so that together we can all continue to create a world free of MS.  If you are having troubles reaching your goal, please do not hesitate to contact the MS Challenge Walk Team and we can work together to find the best fundraising methods for you.

We look forward to seeing you September 6–8 at the 2013 MS Challenge Walk!

All the best,

Danielle Kempe
MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod

Danielle was a Development Manager for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society, managing MS Challenge Walk 2011 and 2012. Prior to joining the staff of the National MS Society, Danielle served as a crew team captain during the 2009 and 2010 MS Challenge Walks.

Notes from the Jumpstart

Written by on June 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

Thank you to the 60 Challenge Walk participants who attended our Jumpstart Your Fundraising sessions on 2/25 and 5/19.

We greatly appreciate veteran Challenge Walk fundraisers working with new participants (and other veterans who are looking for new ideas) to help increase their fundraising.

Here's a summary of the speakers:

  • Tracy Bolduc spoke about the success of her comedy night for team "Stop MS(ing) With Us" and how other teams can replicate their success.
  • Ann Scannell spoke about the Cocktails for a Cure cocktail party and they lesson's they've learned to improve each year.
  • Jack Enright, captain of Team Brian, spoke about his letter writing campaign and how to keep expanding the pool of potential donors you reach out to.
  • Ken Gagne, Challenge Blog webmaster, bike crew member, and Captain of the MSchief Makers, explained how to use the online tools the National MS Society provides.
  • Kevin Lombardi, Co-Captain of the Lombardi Party, shared the different events his team uses to fundraise and raise awareness of MS: including a pub crawl, comedy night, concert, and raffles at each event. New this year, his team has placed lottery card trees in local salons resulting in a 300+% return on investment. He's also started an eBay account for his team, and has offered to list things for other MS Challenge Walk participants, and mail the sale proceeds to them.
  • Patty Thorpe, team captain of the Blister Buddies, spoke about presenting to rotary clubs about MS & the MS Challenge Walk, and holding 2 events, Chowderfest and Night at the Museum, to target different audiences.

Here's a list of some of the ideas discussed:

  • Wine Chest Raffle from TWA
  • Scarfs being sold by new Challenge Walker Dorrie Riley
  • Restaurant nights out with proceeds going to the MS Challenge Walk — Try to target local restaurants or restaurants that do not require a patron to use a flyer for your team to get a donation. Flatbread, Cosi, Fresh City, Not Your Average Joes and Fuddruckers were recommended.
  • Joint team events (Teams working together on a fundraising event and sharing the proceeds)
  • "Jeans Day" at work in exchange for donations
  • Sending letters to a friend or family member's address book. See Ken's blog on sending letters to his brother's contacts for an example.
  • Including return addressed envelopes in any mailed letters you send
  • Theme raffle baskets at a fundraising event
  • Balloon pop with prize numbers inside
  • Lottery basket in salons
  • Party of Gold
  • Grill Raffle from Sole Train
  • Use VistaPrint for business card and postcard purchases at a deep discount for non-profits
  • Contact your local paper to share why to walk and you may get some unexpected donations
  • Asking your donors to check if their company offers matching gifts, to increase their donation

Thank you to everyone who attended. If you have questions about fundraising, please let us know. Our speakers and National MS Society staff will be happy to answer your questions, and connect you with a mentor (if you would like one).

Danielle was a Development Manager for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society, managing MS Challenge Walk 2011 and 2012. Prior to joining the staff of the National MS Society, Danielle served as a crew team captain during the 2009 and 2010 MS Challenge Walks.

2011 Challenge Walk wrap-up

Written by on November 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Thank you to the 114 MS Challenge Walkers that responded to our post event survey for 2011. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and we thank those who had suggestions for improving the event as well. We'd like to share some of those survey results with you.

108 respondents thought our online information was excellent or good. (That includes this blog, so thanks!)

104 respondents thought our route was excellent or good, and 109 respondents thought our reststops were excellent or good. (Way to go to our fabulous crew for making our reststops so welcoming!)

As you may have noticed, MS Challenge Walk participants are a family that often have a personal connection to MS, as confirmed when we asked this question:

What was your primary reason in participating in the MS Challenge Walk?

The steering committee has heard what the most challenging aspect of your participation is and is working on ways to help participants increase their fundraising.

What was the hardest part about preparing for the MS Challenge?

Other questions included:

How may we assist walkers with their fundraising in the future?

"Encourage out of the box ideas. Game night, Bottle & Can Drives, Jack & Jill style parties, golf tournament, raffles, etc… Make it fun."

"I think you are doing a great job. I just don't really think I was prepared for how difficult it would be to raise $1500. Letting walkers know it is imperative to start early would be good."

"I like that you had bonus weeks and things for people to earn if they got sponsors that week, to certain levels, etc."

"Remind walkers to ask everyone and add more people every year to their list."

What did you like or dislike about our online services?

"I did not make use of the blog until it got closer to the walk, but the info was great and I felt I was a little more prepared for the experience because of the suggestions"

"I liked using Facebook because I ended up getting donations from friends that I don't see that much and it help me to remind my family/friends to donate if they wish."

"I love love love fundraising on Facebook and found the challenge blog to be inspirational"

What was your most memorable experience during the MS Challenge Walk?

"All the rest stops were great. I loved all the crew members and the support they give to the walkers."

"The speakers are always amazing and the people you meet are just wonderful."

"Fall was always a difficult season for me but now I look forward to it because of the walk."

"Although the actual walking was difficult, I felt so inspired by all of the people who dedicate their time to this walk. I felt so encouraged by all of the rest stops and support, and it made it so worthwhile. Each day I felt so loved and appreciated!"

"As always, the Saturday evening ceremony always makes me sad, but proud of the accomplishment that I have just finished."

"Being encouraged by 'Sarge'."

"Watching a woman push herself in her chair the entire distance"

"Completing the walk on the final day and parading into the park."


"Hearing the cheering at the finish line on Friday and Saturday. They are the best and make me cry (good tears) every time."

"The crew! I've been doing this a long time and seeing those familiar faces, particularly at the end of a day's walk, is priceless. Their energy and love can be felt. It is very appreciated."

"I enjoyed all of the amazing and selfless people that we met. I loved being with my friends and laughing at out ridiculousness! But I loved the finish line!"

"There are too many things to list. This was my first year walking and it was a great experience. Hat's off to ALL of the volunteers. I personally couldn't have finished the walk without them."

"I have so many memories. After 10 years, my memories focus on the time I spend with good friends from the walk. Love it!"

"Making a new friend. We introduced ourselves at Opening Ceremonies and walked together and talked non-stop for 50 miles. Priceless!"

"Watching the young fellow who pushed two wheel chairs at a time, while carrying tools. Fixing one of the chairs, and continuing to push them."

"When my sister, who has MS, finished the walk to the pre-finish line before me and then walked back to meet me so we could finish 'together'"

"Your support of the walkers is great! I leave with a sense of happiness each time and that it mattered that I walked."

If you didn't fill out the survey, it's never to late to be heard! Please send us your feedback and suggestions to let us know what we're doing right and how we can improve.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2011 MS Challenge Walk a success. Our staff and volunteers are working on plans for 2012 to help make the event even better. We can't wait to see you September 7–9 — sign up today!

Danielle was a Development Manager for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society, managing MS Challenge Walk 2011 and 2012. Prior to joining the staff of the National MS Society, Danielle served as a crew team captain during the 2009 and 2010 MS Challenge Walks.