Amy Clark essay
Using Raffles to Raise Money for the National MS Society
I have used a raffle at 4 different fundraising campaigns to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Me, my family, friends and MS support group members have all had a hand in securing items for raffles at music benefit fundraisers and local MS Walks. I live with MS and this cause is very near and dear to me and my friends and family. In both instances, I rallied the local MS community and all my loved ones to help put on these events.
In October of 2013, with the help of my family, friends and local MS Community, I put on the first Chico MS Soiree which was a music/concert benefit to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Chico, California. We raised about $1,500 that night from ticket and beer sales and a robust raffle. Our raffle included items like gift certificates to local restaurants and yoga studios as well as bike gear, art and wine. We had so much fun doing it, we decided to do it again in 2015. That year, we kicked it up a notch and raised $5,000 for the MS Society. For both music benefits, the performing musicians donated their time and talent and we were able to get Sierra Nevada Brewery to donate 3 kegs of beer to sell at the events. We were also fortunate to get the venue to waive their facility fee for the fundraisers and we were thankful for the raffle items donated by the business community.
In 2015 the MS Society held one of its MS Walks to Chico and my MS support group formed a Walk team- Team Overcoming MS and raised over $5,000 and in 2016 we raised even more, almost $10,000. For both of the MS Walks, me and my MS support group leveraged our community connections to bring in as many raffle items as we could find to raffle off at the Walks. We got raffle donations from downtown Chico businesses and both years, even Klean Kanteen and Smucker’s (two well-known brands) donated items for our raffle. As you can see my support group members and I really enjoy fundraising and I think it’s because raising money for a disease you live with is empowering and for the first time, people felt like they were really doing something to help end MS forever.
All money raised for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society goes to support the Society’s mission of stopping MS in its tracks, restoring what has been lost and ending MS forever. The Society provides support, financial assistance, information and guidance on how to best live with the disease. Needless to say, we all were very happy to help support the cause.
Ending MS forever is meaningful to me because it is a disease I’ve lived with for over 15 years. I really enjoy doing all I can to educate people who live with MS and help them live their best lives. I believe that my support group and the fundraising events and raffles we have participated in have empowered those who live with MS and brought our little MS community together, to lean on and support each other. Our comradery and fundraising give all of us hope that one day, a cure for MS will be found and that what MS has taken away will be restored.
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