Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thank Yous, Tech Tees and Photos Galore

Thank You,
Challenge Walkers!

You took up the fight and accepted the challenge … going from “I Can Do This” to “I Did It!” by covering up to 50 miles and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. Already you’ve pushed the eight-year total past the $2.5 million mark. Keep at it!

Sign Up for 2016
Next year’s Challenge Walk MS will be September 16-18. Take advantage of the 9th anniversary special offer: register for $99 (a $26 savings) when you sign up by October 30, 2015. Click here to register NOW.
Your Opinion Matters
Click here to take the Challenge Walk MS 2015 survey and let us know what you liked the most and what can be improved. And remember, planning for the 10th anniversary event in 2017 is beginning. Contact Nichole Shaffer at the Chapter (nichole.shaffer@nmss.org or 262-369-4416) if you would like to help or have ideas to share.

Send Us Your Selfies
Cameras were clicking throughout Challenge Walk weekend. Find those photos on the Wisconsin Chapter’s Flickr page (you can download them for free). Have some pictures to share? Email them to info.wisMS@nmss.org and we’ll post them for you. Sharing on your own Facebook page? Use #ChallengeWalkMSWI. Extra special thanks to volunteer photographers John Kalson, Bettina Heller, and Daryl, Dan and Casandra Holen for keeping everyone smiling throughout the weekend and capturing some fantastic shots.

Challenge Walk MS 2015 Long Sleeve Tech TeeAnd, Yes, Tech Tees Are Still Available!
Wish you would have ordered one of those stylish long-sleeve gray tech tees that everyone was wearing during Challenge Walk MS weekend -- or have you received so many compliments on yours that you want to order one for a friend or family member? You still can! Click here to place your order. The shirts are $25 each, plus $5 for shipping. Hurry though -- they'll only be available for a limited time. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

The (Orange) Fashion Guy

by Jackie Piper

My husband isn’t exactly known for being dapper. By that I mean he isn’t really a fashion conscious guy. To be blunt ... some mornings when he comes down to breakfast and I see what he’s wearing, I spit out my toast. Bless his heart. He also, very endearingly, gets attached to certain pieces of clothing. If he loves a shirt, no effort on my part to discourage him from wearing it DAILY (like hiding it at the bottom of the pile) makes any difference. Over the 41 years of our marriage, his style deficit and addiction to a particular shirt has made for some interesting commentary ... as in, “Are you wearing that gold tank top with the little whales on it AGAIN??”.

However, I am happy to report that my husband’s latest shirt addiction is none other than an awesome orange polo shirt with the Challenge Walk logo on the front that I bought last year at the Challenge Walk Silent Auction. I’m not sure who donated it (Pat Heller, maybe?) but I need to track down the donor and give that person a big hug!

If you are a first time walker, you are in for a treat on Challenge Walk weekend. You not only get to walk 50 miles, fight MS, and hang out with the greatest folks you’ll ever meet ... you get to shop! Right now dozens of participants and volunteers are working on amazing donations for the Silent Auction held during the weekend. You’ll get to pick from gift certificates, decor, handmade items, themed baskets, and (if you’re lucky!) really sweet MS apparel. So bring your checkbook and get ready to bid on some very cool stuff. All the proceeds will go to the National MS Society, of course.

On the orange shirt front, I’m happy to report that the Orange Shirt goes with everything, whether it really does or not. The quality is amazing too. The color hasn’t faded one bit even after laundering every third day! And, if there is another orange shirt in the auction this year in the right size, I WILL be the high bidder. Then, the Fashion Guy can wear a bright orange MS Challenge Walk shirt every day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Important Deadlines and Details for This Year's Challenge Walk

It all comes together next weekend as more than 200 walkers, Super Crew and Crew members gather for the 8th annual Challenge Walk MS, September 18-20. If you’re already registered to be one of them, read on for important details and deadlines below.

Challenge Walk MS 2015 Long Sleeve Tech TeeGet a Challenge Walk Tech Tee
A special wearable item is sold in conjunction with each year’s Challenge Walk MS. This year’s item is a long sleeve tech tee – perfect for mid-season wear with 100% polyester fabric with micro-mélange body, moisture management, decorative top stitching and thumbholes (on women’s version only). Features the Challenge Walk MS logo. Available in sizes XS-3X for women and S-3X for men. Cost: $25. Hurry – the item is only available thru TOMORROW (September 9). Click here to order

Rookie Call
What should you pack? What should you expect? Find out how to get the most from the experience by being part of the conference call for first-time participants TOMORROW -- Wednesday, September 9 -- at 6 p.m. CDT. Dial 888-279-3775 and use code 4804#.

Room Payments are Due
Lodging payments are due by Friday, September 11 to secure your rooming reservations. Contact Jamie Baker at jamie.baker@nmss.org or 262-369-4435 to make your payment.

Last Call for Photos and Statements
Photos and quotes describing why you’ve joined Challenge Walk MS 2015 were due last month. If you missed the deadline but want to be included in the weekend displays, email your photo and one or two short sentences describing why you’ve joined Challenge Walk MS to Nichole Shaffer at nichole.shaffer@nmss.org no later than Friday, September 11. (Photo must be 1 MB or larger, headshot preferred. Email them to Nichole Shaffer.)

Turn in Your Silent Auction Items
Planning to contribute items for the Silent Auction? Send your item descriptions (including retail value and who should receive credit) to Jamie Baker at jamie.baker@nmss.org by Friday, September 11, then drop off the items at Alpine Resort when you check in on September 17

Treat Yourself to a Massage
Register by noon on Wednesday, September 16 for a $30, 30-minute post-walk performance massage at Alpine Resort on Friday or Saturday (or both).

Plan to Shop the Silent Auction and Cash & Carry Boutique
Come prepared to bid on art, crafts, gift baskets and more donated by fellow participants during the weekend. A “cash and carry” section will also be available for items under $50 that can be purchased outright. Proceeds benefit the National MS Society, and the final sale amounts are applied toward the donor’s Challenge Walk fundraising total. 

Rookie Meeting
First-time participants, you’re not alone. There will be nearly 50 other rookies at this year’s event. Meet them and get all your last minute questions answered during a special meeting for first-time participants at Alpine Lodge on Thursday evening (September 17). Meet at 7 p.m. near the check-in area.

Donation Due Date
The Promise to Pay form extends your fundraising deadline to September 25. All forms should have been submitted already but if you haven’t turned yours in, call the Wisconsin Chapter office at 262-369-4400 (toll free 800-242-3358 from inside Wisconsin) this week. All donations must be turned in by September 25.

Know Where You're Going ... and What You're Doing 
The Friday, Saturday and Sunday route maps and weekend itinerary are available online now. (Routes and itinerary subject to change.) 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Submitting Your Photo and Quote for Challenge Walk MS

Photos and quotes describing why you've joined Challenge Walk MS 2015 in Door County were due Friday. 

If you missed the deadline and want to be included in the weekend displays and special event keepsake, please submit a photo of yourself along with one or two short sentences describing why you’ve joined Challenge Walk MS to Nichole Shaffer at nichole.shaffer@nmss.org this week. (Photo must be 1 MB or larger, headshot preferred.)

If you already sent in your photo and quote but didn’t hear back from the Wisconsin Chapter, please resubmit your photo and quote to Nichole at nichole.shaffer@nmss.org.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Is it a Yard Sale or a Really Inexpensive Department Store? Come See For Yourself.

There are so many ways to raise money for the fight against MS. If you need ideas to help you toward your fundraising goal, checkout this link

My team, the MS WARRIORS, has used a yard sale to help us raise money for Challenge Walk every year.  I'd like to share some "Hot Tips" for a successful and easy yard sale that we've learned over the years. Here are some things that work for us:

 #1  Have an awesome sign.  The title of this post is one idea for a sign I saw on Pinterest. However, we like customers to know the WHY of our yard sale, so make sure people know you are raising money for a great cause.

#2  Have an awesome organizer in charge.  This is my daughter, Annie.  Trust me, "Organized" is her middle name.

#3  Try to collect some larger items from family and friends. Furniture sells! BIG ITEMS = BIG BUCKS.

#4  Organize (there's that word again!) and price stuff by table, not by item. Whew!! This saves you a ton of work and customers really like it. Also, don't haggle. We gently remind the cheapskates...er bargainers...that the money is for charity!

#5  Highlight your really awesome junk items.  I mean who can resist a "Gone With The Wind" ornament??? (It sold, by the way!)


#6  Have a "Fill the Bag" deal at the end of your sale. Our community has a Garage Sale Facebook page that lets us communicate in the moment with customers. We used the fill-the-bag-for-a-dollar approach for the last hour of our yard sale. You really don't want that stuff back, right?! And guess what? Because it's for a great cause, people will sometimes give you more than a buck!

#7 Pray for no rain. Okay, it's out of your hands, but have a contingency plan. Like an adorable child with a bright orange umbrella to show people that rain won't close you down!

Have a great sale!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Color My World

by Jackie Piper

Only 45 days until we step off for the 2015 Challenge Walk MS in Door County

I’m thinking that there are not enough training days left. I’m thinking it’s time to immerse myself in the fundraising. I’m thinking I need to go get a new pair of walking shoes. I’m thinking lots of Challenge Walk-related thoughts.

But, mostly I’m thinking about orange.

As I train for the Challenge Walk and trek all over my smallish city, I try to always wear an orange shirt. I am participating in my 6th Challenge Walk, so I have many options when it comes to orange shirts. But, does color really matter? Ask the people involved in the breast cancer movement, who took the color pink and raised awareness around the world and rallied people to their cause. That sort of awareness translated into funding for research that has been instrumental in changing the outcomes for people with breast cancer.

I’d love to make “orange” the new “pink”.

I’d love to have the world identify the color orange with the movement to end MS forever. It can happen.  It starts with a t-shirt, a hat, a backpack, or ....an umbrella.

Last fall, while vacationing in Europe for my 40th anniversary, I pulled out my orange Challenge Walk MS umbrella to walk the rainy streets of a small Austrian town. The next day, I offered my arm to another woman from America as we walked down the steps of our tour boat. She asked, “Are you the lady with the orange umbrella?”  I said, “Yes, I am.”  She replied very simply, “You walk for me.” 

So let’s color our world.

Get your “orange” on.

Monday, June 8, 2015

“I feel this is something I should be doing for myself…”

Jay Saunders is taking the term milestone literally in marking the five year anniversary of his MS diagnosis by taking on the 50-mile Challenge Walk MS.

Jay Saunders took this selfie at Walk MS: Milwaukee.
He has 
decided to commit to Challenge Walk MS this 

year, in honor of the five-year anniversary of his MS 
A Walk MS participant since his diagnosis in 2010, he decided to make 2015 his year for Challenge Walk after talking to his colleague Fran Mclaughlin, who had done it before.

“She told me how great of an event it was and she eased any fears I had about taking this on,” he said.

“One of the big reasons I’m doing this walk is because I can. I feel blessed by the fact that, since my diagnosis, I have been relatively symptom-free. There are days I can tell I’m not my old self, but I feel this is something I should be doing for myself and for the many others impacted by this mystery disease.”

Jay was 32 when he was diagnosed. The Omaha native thought maybe it was carpal tunnel he was experiencing, but when the tingling sensation spread from his wrist up his arm and then down the side of his right leg, he knew it was time to have it checked out. He and his wife were expecting their first child at the time.

Now that baby is a “wonderful, healthy and rambunctious four-year-old girl” who will be cheering her daddy across the Challenge Walk MS finish line come September.

Asked what he’s most anxious about  … whether it’s the 50 miles of walking, the minimum $1,500 commitment, or something else … Jay said “no question, it’s the 50 miles in three days,” but that he’s doing his best to get himself in shape for it. He’s also willing to forego the big Husker game taking place that weekend – something of a major sacrifice given that he’s the founder of a University of Nebraska football/alumni group in Milwaukee.

Visit Jay’s Challenge Walk MS participant page to learn more about Challenge Walk MS, Jay’s motivation or to make a donation.