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Bouncing into fundraising action

Written by on Apr 26, 2013

April 20, 2013, was a cold and raw Saturday morning. Despite the less than desirable weather, approximately 50 people came out to the Mercy Centre in Worcester, MA to support Team Walk With Wheels for our first ever MS Volleyball Tournament. Among the teams who came out, we had one of our very own MS Challenge Walk teams (Team Sole Train) come out!

This event was a new event idea for us as a team, and it helped demonstrate how reaching out to your extended team members can help raise funds for your team event. Oftentimes, people think that actual walkers on a given team are the only people who can organize and run events. This is far from the truth!

About one month ago, Carolyn and I reached out to a friend from our church. We knew that this friend had a passion for volleyball and he also organizes sport based activities for our church. We asked him if he would be interested in organizing a volleyball tournament. for us He happily agreed to pull something together.

A few weeks later, Dan informed us that he had designed a flyer for the event and that he already had a few teams that were interested. He also informed us that he had secured a facility and a referee for the event. The event was open for up to eight teams.

Fast forward a few weeks and all eight teams arrived at the Mercy Centre ready to compete and to help raise funds for MS. Dan started the event out with an introduction to Carolyn Rossi (captain of Team Walk With Wheels) and explained that the funds collected for this event were helping people like her.

One at a time, teams went up against teams, slamming the ball around the court. The first game started at 9 AM sharp. As the morning went on the brackets started to fill and teams were advancing toward the final game. As teams took breaks, Dan's wife Loraine graciously stood and served a variety of home prepared foods, baked goods and drinks, which also benefited the National MS Society.

By the end of the event, it was down to two remaining teams of the original eight. The games had become super competitive, and we saw some pretty serious moves! In the end, team Spike City won the tournament and were rewarded with extra large chocolate bars!


After the clean up was taken care of and everyone had returned to their homes, the final tally came in for funds raised. On April 24, 2013, I delivered roughly $600 to the MS Society office for Team Walk With Wheels! Great job to everyone who came out and helped! We couldn't have done it without your support.

I hope this recap encourages you to reach outside the box. It has been mentioned many times at kickstart meetings and the like. If you try to take it all on your shoulders alone, it seems burdensome. Look among your friends and social circle for people who already enjoy doing a particular activity and see if you can leverage their passion and joy of that thing for the benefit of helping people live a life free from MS.

Brian, a resident of Central Massachusetts, has participated for several years in the MS Challenge Walk as a member of the bike support crew.  Not only does his wife Carolyn have MS, but his grandmother had MS and eventually died from complications related to it. Brian is best known to as the provider of tropical flavored Starbursts and Jolly Rancher candies along the trail.

Walka Walka Walkahs pool tournament

Written by on Mar 31, 2013

Join team Walka Walka Walkahs at Maxamillian's Billiards in Tyngsboro on Saturday, April 13, at 4:30 PM for pool and darts tournaments to benefit the NMSS. Come enjoy raffles and complimentary food, too!

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

2nd Annual Bags for Beanface Cornhole Tournament

Written by on Jul 3, 2012

Cornhole!Please join Bonnie's Believers on Saturday, July 21, 11 AM – 6 PM at the Medway VFW for the second annual charity cornhole tournament to help raise funds for multiple sclerosis research and support our team in the 11th annual MS Challenge Walk.

A $30 donation provides entry into the tournament, along with free beer and food as long as it lasts ($20 for those under 21 or either not participating in the tournament or not participating, umm, in the beer). Soda, water, and mixed beverages will be available for purchase throughout the day. Food will include burgers, hot dogs, and salad. This is a kid-friendly event.

We will have raffles during the day for all who donate and cash prizes for the winners. Additional raffle tickets will again be available for purchase.

Please feel free to contact Tom directly with questions or concerns. We will gladly accept raffle prizes and/or donations if you cannot participate in the tournament.

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

MS charity poker tournament

Written by on Apr 28, 2012

PokerJoin The Lombardi Party for a poker tournament at the Melrose Fish & Game Club in Saugus on Saturday, May 12, at noon. The cost of $100 pre-registration or $125 at the door guarantees your seat at the table and includes dinner. Contact Jarrod Vecchio at 617-791-4556 or gizmovec@comcast.net.

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

Cathy's Crew Golf tournament

Written by on Apr 27, 2012

(4/365) :: Golf ThursdaysJoin Cathy's Crew for their inaugural golf tournament at Pocasset Golf Club on June 18, 2012. This scramble-format tournament costs $160 per player or $600 per foursome and includes a lunch buffet, dinner and awards, with optional raffles and auction.

To register, please print, complete, and mail the registration form.

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

Texas hold-em tournament

Written by on Apr 19, 2012

Walka Walka Walkahs poker tournament (JPG)The Walka Walka Walkahs invite you to a Texas hold-em poker tournament to benefit the NMSS! A $30 buy-in gets you 6,000 chips, with a $20 re-buy. The winner's pot consists of half of all registration fees, buy-ins, and add-ons; the other half, as well as all donations, go to MS Challenge Walk fundraising. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and raffles for items such as sports gift baskets, hair product baskets, restaurant gift certificates, and BBQ sets. Join the fun and enjoy complimentary appetizers at Maxamillians Billiards in Tyngsboro on Saturday, May 5, 3–8 PM.

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

Inaugural cornhole tournament

Written by on Jun 24, 2011

Please join team Bonnie's Believers at our inaugural charity cornhole tournament (also known as a bean bag toss) to help raise funds for the tenth annual MS Challenge Walk. The event is Saturday, July 23, 11 AM – 5 PM, at the Medway VFW.

A $40 donation provides entry into the tournament ($25 for non-participants), along with free beer and food for the day. Soda, water, and mixed beverages will be available for purchase throughout the day. Food will include burgers, hot dogs, and salad. This is a kid-friendly event, too, with plenty of room to run around.

We will have raffles during the day for all who donate and cash prizes for the winners. We will gladly accept raffle prizes and/or donations if you do not want to participate in the tournament.

Please RSVP for our Facebook event, too!

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

Let the fundraising begin!

Written by on Mar 28, 2011

I was in Columbia, South Carolina, for the weekend as my family there hosted our team's annual fundraising golf tournament. It is always a beautiful time of year down there, and a great time is had out on the course. My deepest thanks and love go out to my family for continuing to support the National MS Society by organizing this fundraising tournament each year.

Our family's team fundraising campaign is kicked off each year with golf tournament, which raises a significant portion of the team's funds. We are fortunate for so many wonderful personal and corporate supporters.

Now that we have entered our fundraising season, I look forward to reaching out to friends, family and new co-workers (if done selectively) to ask them to support our family's team at the upcoming MS Challenge Walk. As I've been mentally (and manually) organizing my "ask", and starting to compile a list of people to solicit, I am eager to take advantage of the online tools in my Participant Center.

While its functionality (and ease) is great, I don't it to lull me into laziness in my solicitations. It would be easiest to import all the email addresses from my contact list into my Participant Center and shoot out a generic email to all, asking them for money. While there is a group of people to whom I will send such an email, I'll avoid this approach for just everyone. When you think about it, there are some people who should be sent an individualized email or letter. I mean, isn't the money they give valuable enough to take another moment to send them a special correspondence. I think it is.

The point is this: think about each person to whom you are soliciting. If someone falls into the category of receiving a more general email, that is fine. But if you come across someone who for whatever reason prompts your mind (or heart) to pause and suggest you send a personalized correspondence, follow your instincts and go that route. If you need help writing your letter, check out our advice and templates. The extra minute it will take to send them a personal solicitation may just turn out to be your biggest donor because of the attention and care you showed them. The money they give is worth your investment of time.

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.