Friday, May 21, 2010

State Success: Arizona GRC Raises Money on Walk MS Team

Challenge: After hearing that the Arizona Chapter's Programs and Services budget would have to endure FY 2010 cuts, the Arizona Government Relations Committee put their heads together to brainstorm ways to help fundraise. Many ideas were thrown around. Phone banking to friends and family, hosting a fundraiser house party, and hosting an auction party all came up in conversations. The group decided that creating a Walk MS team would be an easy first step—Team GRC.

Status: Team GRC was added to the Walk MS team database and given a fundraising page at the end of August. Some members utilized Facebook and email to fundraise. Others asked friends and family to send checks to the Chapter office. To enhance our fundraising efforts, the team planned a “House Party.” The party was held in the Conference Center of the office building where the Chapter office is located.

For about six weeks leading up to the party, team members solicited in-kind donations from local businesses for the silent auction which would be a highlight of the party. A talented, local musician whose mother has MS, performed live music and kept the crowd entertained. The Chapter Care Manager donated her talent and skill for decorating and made the Conference Center feel warm and cozy with autumn themed decorations.

During the party 55 friends, family, colleagues, and associates of Team GRC spent the evening mingling, sharing stories, bidding on auction items, and enjoying good company. The evening was fun and successful.

More than $2,000 was raised for Team GRC's Walk MS team.A week and a half later, the team total surpassed $5,000 and Team GRC was awarded team T-shirts and a team tent for the Phoenix Walk MS. Even a month after the Walk MS, donations for Team GRC were still coming in. To date, Team GRC had raised more than $5,600. The team is extremely proud of the outcome of their efforts and look forward to next year.

Participating in Walk MS was the icing on the cakewalking 3 miles with almost 4,000 others impacted by multiple sclerosis.

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