Mom called the Fire Department and that lit a fire!
Two weekends back, several hundred of us wound our way around the Twin Cities. We did 50 miles of footwork in the annual Challenge Walk MS event. Friday's 20-mile stroll around Minneapolis' lakes was beautiful. Saturday's trip to the State Fairgrounds, through Como Pork and up Lexington Avenue to Roseville High School was a bit of a spirit-tester thanks to some steady, sometimes heavy rain. But Sunday things dried out for the finale at the State Capitol.
Even with the rain and the threat of blisters, I have to tell you, the walking is the easy part for me. I've learned that with good shoes and socks I can make it through the miles. The tough part for me is what comes first -- the fundraising.
Each person who does the Challenge Walk has to raise $1,500. I try to think of it as 30 people giving 50 dollars, 15 people with fatter wallets giving a cool hundred, something like that. But no matter how you cut it, that's a lot of money, especially in an economy where people are drowning in gas and grocery bills.
Even though I believe fully in the MS Society and its mission, I'm just not programmed to pull money out of pockets. I think maybe it goes back to when I was a kid and I asked mom if I could do a carnival for the Jerry Lewis Telethon. (Remember when he asked kids to do carnivals to raise money?) I asked my mom if I could do one. She said no one would come to my carnival. Ouch! It was uncharacteristically blunt from a mom who tried to find a way to make most of my schemes work. I think I probably just asked at the wrong moment. Bottom line though, I think it had a lasting impact on my fundraising psyche.
Mom more than made up for the carnival comment this year. Thanks to her, we kick-started the MS Society fundraising with a big, fat check from my hometown Fire Department. The Royalton fire crew donated $400 bucks to the Olsen effort! It's amazing how something like that can light a fire (pun intended)! It was a motivator for my asking and for others contributing to the cause. It was the reason I got the goal in time to strap on the sneakers for this year's Challenge Walk MS.
So to mom, the crew at the Royalton Fire Department and everyone who gave generously in this tough economy: THANK YOU!
Hopefully we'll soon be able to get on TV to report about a cure for MS.
Read more about the National MS Society Minnesota Chapter
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