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My favorite time of year

Written by on Jul 19, 2010

This is a wonderful time of year: summer fun, swimming, BBQ, vacation, and making final preparations for the MS Challenge Walk. That last summer favorite I just listed may sound a little strange, but I relish the later summer months when we as staff lock down all the Challenge Walk event logistics, send the Travel and Information Guide, create the cabin assignments at the Sea Camps, and put the finishing touches on all the festivities and evening programs with the MS Challenge Walk Steering Committee.

By the time we get to the crew training night on August 11 at our Waltham office, I will be fully immersed in Challenge Walk "spirit". Each year, that night brings back those special memories about Challenge Walk weekend. Seeing the familiar faces of crew members at the meeting reminds us staff of all the wonderful relationships we've developed over the years and gets us excited to make new friends.

The staff will make numerous trips to the Cape throughout the year to plan for the Challenge Walk. I love the feeling of driving to the Cape Cod Sea Camps and heading up that long driveway to the big white house. Special memories flood through me as I view the walk route, and it reminds of priceless moments spent with walkers and crew.

Todd and Ken. Photo by Steve Sookikian.

It won't be long before the NMSS staff is back at the Sea Camps with all their friends!

You as Challenge Walkers have spent the entire year preparing for September. Many sacrifices of your time and energy have been expended while you train and raise vital dollars for the MS community. We recognize the amazing commitment you have made to creating a world free from MS by walking in the MS Challenge Walk.

On behalf of the National MS Society staff and the MS Challenge Walk Steering Committee, we truly appreciate your support. We are excited and will be ready to give you a great Challenge Walk experience come September.

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.

Team-building at the NMSS warehouse

Written by on Jul 31, 2009

Believe it or not, the MS Challenge Walk is right around the corner. We are planning our packing schedule for the MS Challenge Walk as we have five trucks worth of event supplies, food, water, medical supplies to bring down to the Cape. As you can imagine, this is an enormous undertaking and we are looking for your help!

We are looking for volunteers who can come to our warehouse location to help in getting organized for this event. This is "fun work", not to mention a tremendous help to us. While the work is manual labor, it is not backbreaking by any means.

Do you have any free time during the weekdays of the weeks of August 24th or August 31st between 9 AM — 5 PM? If you do and would like to come to our Waltham MA warehouse location to help, please let us know. We can work around your schedule and have a variety of projects for Challenge Walk participants to help with. If you have a block of a few hours free, we could really use your help.

Please pass this message on to any family or friends that may be interested in being a part of this effort. It would be an invaluable help to us as we prepare for the MS Challenge Walk.

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.

Vanishing point

Written by on May 29, 2009

I'm a writer. I have to tell you that right up front, because that's where this blog begins. I've been working on a short story called "Vanishing Point".

I had the idea for the story based on the definition of vanishing point: "the point at which a thing disappears or ceases to exist." My story is about a woman driven to vanishing point. I got through the first few pages easily, lost in the world I was creating on paper, then the words slowed to a crawl… and stopped. I tapped my fingers on the desk, looked out the window, daydreamed about dinner, and then my eyes wandered back to the title. Those words. Vanishing point.

Isn't that what the MS Challenge Walk is all about? We're driven to find the point where MS ceases to exist. I have to confess, though, and say that sometimes, for me, that ultimate goal gets lost in the days prior to the walk. I spend hours agonizing over my fundraising: what event will work this year? Will people come? Will we make any money? Should we do a newsletter for our supporters? Have I tried enough? Have I trained enough? Are my teammates getting tired? Am I overworking them? And what about my kids?

By the time I get to the Cape, I've usually worked myself into a tizzy. And then I stand on the Hyannis Green, looking at the crowd of walkers and crew, feel the excitement crackle, listen to Todd, Lori, and Arlyn as they welcome us; by the time I'm under the balloon arch with my team, the nervousness disappears, and I remember why we're here. What the Walk is really all about.

Vanishing point.

It's all about perspective.

Diagnosed with MS in 1994, Patty responded the way many do: she refused to discuss it. It took her ten years to realize that silence isn't the answer. She, her friends and family formed the Blister Buddies for their first Challenge Walk in 2004. Patty is now on the Challenge Walk Steering Committee and chairs the PR Subcommittee. In November 2008, she became a member of the Greater NE Chapter's Board of Trustees.