video

...now browsing by tag

 
 

MS Challenge Walk 2014 promo

Written by on February 28, 2014 at 10:27 am

The MS Challenge Walk is a difficult experience to capture. How do you explain to someone what would make you walk fifty miles — not just one year, but every year? How do you put into words the hope and love that come with strained muscles and flowing tears? It doesn't make sense, and it's almost impossible to convey.

Yet just as we set out to do the impossible by walking fifty miles, so too does the crew of Red Dirt Productions tackle the challenging task of capturing and sharing the experience. For years, Brenda Neary and her crew have come to Cape Cod to volunteer their video production skills to produce commercials based on our walk. They have now unveiled their promotion for MS Challenge Walk 2014:

Three minutes may be the perfect length for the more attentive television generation, but in this age of tweets and Facebook posts, it may tax one's attention span. So here's a 30-second version:

Please share this video on Facebook or put it on Twitter to tell all your friends about this amazing experience!

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.

Jumpstart your online fundraising

Written by on February 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

A growing percentage of MS Challenge Walk fundraising occurs online — and why not? Which is easier: sending a letter to your friend in Nome, Alaska, her writing a check and returning it in your self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE), you then writing a receipt and mailing the check to the NMSS; or sending your friend an email and asking her to punch in her credit card online?

Not only does the online approach get the money into the bank more quickly, it also gives the National MS Society a bigger cut, as fewer hands need to be hired to process a check. It's a winning situation for all parties.

There are other online fundraising tools, too: you can make every email into a fundraising solicitation; a handy Facebook application can do your fundraising for you; you can promote your offline events in an online event calendar; you can even get Amazon.com to give you a piece of the action.

I reviewed all these tools and more at last month's Jumpstart Your Fundraising meeting. Didn't attend? A 20-minute recording of that presentation is available in the below YouTube video:

If you want more details about any of these opportunities, please email me or leave a comment. For more advice from Jumpstart, listen to the MS Challenge Talk audio recordings. To be alerted to future Jumpstart sessions, sign up for free email notifications!

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.

MS Challenge Walk 2013 commercial & PSA

Written by on January 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Every September, Brenda Neary and her Red Dirt Productions crew come to Cape Cod not just to bear witness to MS Challenge Walk, but to share the experience with a wider audience. They do so by recording the event on film and editing an amazing three-day adventure into a three-minute commercial that captures the essence of what it means to be a part of the MS Challenge Walk community.

The 2013 video is now out, having been filmed at the 2012 walk. Not only will you see many familiar friends and faces, but you can use this video to recruit even more heroes into our ranks. Use the "Share this" buttons at the bottom of this post to take advantage of this recruitment resource. Make them the stars of next year's commercial!

And here's a separate, shorter video that features different heroes:

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.

Stay hydrated in hot weather

Written by on June 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

Today at 7:09 PM marks the beginning of summer — and the heat is here to prove it! With temperatures rising to the nineties, it's important to be safe and stay hydrated as you continue your training for MS Challenge Walk.

Here with tips on how to stay hydrated is Dr. Mary-Elise Manuell of UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Best tip: Don't wait until you're thirsty. Keep chugging those liquids in anticipation of them being depleted! You'll feel better and be safer.

For more advice about staying hydrated, check out the National MS Society's Web site or other posts on the Challenge Blog.

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.

Making connections

Written by on June 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

For the past two months, I have been sitting down with veterans of MS Challenge Walk and asking them to tell me their stories. Ostensibly, the reason for these interviews is to produce MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that allows anyone within or without our community to learn more about its members.

In actuality, the podcast is an excuse for me to do what I love most: make connections.

When my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990, all we saw ahead of us was struggle. We knew that what started as a slight unsteadiness on her feet could someday become something far worse, closing her off from the rest of her life and her world.

What none of us saw was the connections we would make with others who were fighting this same battle. Through our involvement with MS Challenge Walk, we have made new friends, been supported by old ones, and gained more perspective than we knew was possible.

MS Challenge Talk is my own personal connection accelerator. Heroes who I've seen only briefly on the walk, in a context that lets me get to know them only in passing, are now inviting me into their lives and their homes and sharing with me the most intimate details of their hopes and fears. Every time, I come away awed and humbled — and having made a new friend and a stronger connection to the cause.

MS Challenge Talk begins with MS Challenge Walk. The walk isn't just to find a cure; taking the pledge to walk three days and 50 miles makes you the cure.

Thank you to everyone who is walking with me — and to everyone who is talking to me. Wherever it is we're going, we'll make it … together.

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.

MS Challenge Walk 2012 commercial & PSA

Written by on January 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

They've done it again! You wouldn't think the incomparable experience of walking three days and fifty miles with some of the world's most amazing volunteers could be condensed so succinctly, but Brenda Neary, Marsha Harris, and Mary Esper of Red Dirt Productions have produced the following three-minute video that captures the MS Challenge Walk 2011 and promotes the 2012 event.

This 30-second commercial airs on Comcast Jan 30–March 4: 

The spot will be featured on Comcast's Web site. Comcast subscribers will be able to click through from that commercial to watch the three-minute piece in Video On Demand:

AEN-TV Sa-Su 9am-7pm
BRVO-TV M-Su 8pm-12am
ENT-TV Sa-Su 10am-6pm
FOOD-TV Sa-Su 10am-7pm
M-Su 6pm-12m
HALL-TV Sa 8pm-11p
HGTV-TV M-Su 8pm-12m
LIF-TV M-F 2pm-7pm
STYL-TV M-Su 8pm-12m
TLC-TV Sa-Su 10am-6pm
M-Su 7pm-12m
VH1-TV Sa-Su 10am-6pm
M-Su 7pm-12m

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.

The power of secrets

Written by on October 4, 2011 at 8:18 am

When Todd first asked me to speak at MS Challenge Walk 2006, I was flummoxed. It was only my second year walking; I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to listen to my tale. More important, I couldn't even figure out what that tale was! "Hi, I'm Ken. My mom has MS, and … I walk." What more is there than that?

To help get the creative juices flowing, Todd put me on the phone with Steve, the chapter's communications guru. Steve probed me with questions, prompting me to reveal something that someone else might actually find interesting. He was probably getting as frustrated as I was with my dull answers until he asked, "What was your family's reaction when you told them you were going to walk 50 miles?" I shrugged (not that Steve could see it). "They didn't react," I mumbled. "Why not?" "Because I didn't tell them."

Apparently, it's unusual for a son to walk fifty miles for his mother without telling her. Who knew? So I stood before a thousand walkers and crew, told my story — and was astonished at how it resonated with the audience. Several walkers came up to me afterward and asked, "Are we brothers? Because I'm sure that was my mom you were talking about up there."

I've since had the opportunity to relate aspects of this tale at several different Challenge Walk events. Every time I do, I'm sure by now my story has become old hat — yet I never cease to be surprised at the connections it brings about.

When I got home from this year's walk, I found two Facebook messages waiting for me. One was from a young woman I'm not sure I remember meeting on the Cape. She wanted some of the improved communication between me and my mom in her own life: "I just wanted to say how inspiring your speech was on Friday night, and I called my mom Sunday night to see what she's using for treatment and how her symptoms are." Another crew member, whose story I thought I knew (just like I thought I knew mine, before I started walking), sent me a similarly surprising note: "Your remarks made me tear up. My mom didn't like that I was fundraising for NMSS when I started either, 9 years ago."

I always look forward to the end of the Saturday night candlelight ceremony, because I know at that point, I'll have shed my last tear for that year's Challenge Walk. I didn't know the powerful emotions I find on the Cape could so easily resurface upon hearing these other tales that are so much like mine.

Sharing secrets fosters intimacy, and telling the tale of my family has made the Challenge Walk community into my extended family. But confiding secrets has another hopeful, inspiring result: it lets you know that you are not alone. For every person who struggles with MS, directly or otherwise, there is someone else who has been, or is, where you are now. I was recently given a tangential reminder of this truth by this PostSecret video:

There's no denying it: MS is scary. But when we come together to shine our collective light on it, we can see that it is just as scared of us — because it knows its days are numbered.

Of that, I make no secret.

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.

MS Challenge Walk on the morning news

Written by on September 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Is everyone ready for the MS Challenge Walk 2011? In just over 24 hours, we'll be meeting at the Cape Codder to see old friends and psych up for the next fifty miles!

Just in time for the walk, steering committee chairman Jack Enright appeared this morning on Boston's Fox News to promote the event. The full clip can be seen online:

Jack did a great job plugging our walk, with footage of many familiar friends complementing the news, taken from Andrew Child's photos and various commercials. Be sure to be on the Cape this weekend for your chance to be seen and 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.