Upstate New York Chapter

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Frequently Asked Questions

Registration FAQs

Is there a registration fee?
There is no registration fee to participate in Walk MS, but we encourage everyone to raise a minimum of $125.

I’m walking and my family/friends will join me. Should they register for Walk MS?
Yes. All walkers, regardless of age, must register to participate in Walk MS. This is for your safety, and so that each participant qualifies for fundraising incentives, including the $125 minimum to receive a t-shirt. If you have four or more friends/family joining you, think about forming a team.  

Can my child (12 or under) participate in Walk MS?
Yes. Walk MS is a family event for all ages. 

I will be out of town during Walk MS. Can I still participate as a virtual walker?
Yes. You do not have to physically be at the walk site to participate. Virtual walkers can register as an individual or team participant. Virtual walkers will receive the same benefits and prizes as event participants. Click here to register as a virtual walker.

Can I register for Walk MS the day of the event?
Yes. While it is encouraged to pre-register for Walk MS, we do offer registration on the day of the walk. When you arrive at the walk site, proceed to the registration table/area. If you wish to register online, click here.

 

Fundraising FAQs

Is there a minimum fundraising requirement?
No, but all participants who raise $125 receive an official Walk MS t-shirt. Get helpful fundraising tips here.

Can I still become a Top 100 Club or Top 50 Teams club member after the event is over?
Yes. The fundraising deadline to qualify you as a Top Fundraiser Club member is June 20, 2014 (prize deadline). Keep fundraising after the event, right up until the prize deadline. 

Where do I send donations?
Mail Walk MS donations to the address below. Be sure to include your name, account number and walk location in the memo section of the check. Please *DO NOT* send cash. 

Mail donations to:
National MS Society
Attn: Walk MS
1650 South Ave., Suite 100
Rochester, NY 14620

Who do I make checks payable to?
Checks can be made payable to “The National MS Society” or “NMSS” or “Walk MS”. Remember to include a note stating the name of the person that the donation is for to ensure donations are credited to the appropriate participant.

How long does it take for donations to appear on my personal web page?
Donations made online are immediately posted to your account and will appear on your web page at the time of the donation. Donations that are mailed prior to the event can take two to four weeks to appear on your web page. Donations submitted on the day of the event can take up to six weeks to appear on your web page. To avoid the wait, encourage your donors to sponsor you online. Online donations are safe and easy. Click here if you wish to make an online donation to a Walk MS participant.

What if my company wants to match my donation?
Many companies have matching gift and volunteer incentive programs to maximize their financial contributions to non-profit organizations. This means they will match their employees’ donations to non-profits, increasing your fundraising total and bringing us closer to a world free of MS. Check for eligibility by visiting nationalmssociety.org/employermatch.

Are donations tax deductible? How do I get a receipt?
Yes. All donations are tax deductible. Your cleared check or credit card transaction serves as a receipt. Donors giving $75 or more will automatically receive an acknowledgement letter from the National MS Society by the end of the year. Donation receipts are also available for you (as the Walk MS participant) to download and give to your donors. Receipts are also available to donors upon request. For more information, contact Walk MS at nyrevents@nmss.org or 1-800-344-4867. 

In what ways will I be rewarded for my fundraising in Walk MS?
There are many perks that come with fundraising. We encourage all participants to raise $125 or more to earn an official Walk MS t-shirt. Leading up to Walk MS, we hold fundraising contests that award great prizes. See the team section of our website for more details. Walk MS prizes are also available for each individual who reaches $250 or more in fundraising.

When will I receive my packet and donation envelope in the mail?
We will not send participant packets to non-team captains. Non-team captains will receive a registration post card at the time of registration directing them to where they can download pertinent fundraising material. If you do not have access to the internet, fundraising material can be requested by emailing nyrevents@nmss.org.

Team captains will receive a team captain packet at the time of registration.

All walkers will receive a pledge envelope about two weeks prior to Walk MS.

We strongly recommend registering prior to the event, but there will be paper registration forms and pledge envelopes available on the day of the walk.
 

Team FAQs

What are the benefits of starting a team?
Participating in Walk MS is more fun when you are part of a team, and team members raise more money than individuals. Teams get a meeting area at the event and the chance to participate in team contests that offer great prizes. Teams can also qualify for top fundraising honors and rewards. 

How many people can I have on my team?
Teams must consist of four or more members in order to receive any team recognition, awards and prizes. There is no limit to how many team members you can have – the more, the merrier! 

I’d like to join an existing team. What should I do?
Go to MSupstateny.org. Choose your walk site and click on “Join a Team”. You will need to locate your team using the team finder and select it as part of the registration process to ensure you’re added to your team roster. If you already registered as an individual and would like to create or join a team, email nyrevents@nmss.org for further assistance. 

Can my team captain hand in my donations for me?
No. Each individual must hand in his or her donations. Fundraising prizes and incentives are based on individual fundraising success. Teams can fundraise together and distribute the donations among team members. Each team member must turn in their own donations in their own pledge envelope.
 

Event Information FAQs

Are dogs allowed at Walk MS?
Leashed dogs are allowed at most of our Walk MS sites. Dogs attending Walk MS must obey pooper scooper laws and be kept on a leash at all times. Please keep in mind there may be many distractions and irritations to dogs (such as loud music, large crowds, other dogs and small children), so keep your dog’s temperament in mind. 

Is there more than just one route length at Walk MS?
Walk MS offers a shorter and longer route at each Walk MS site. Routes will vary in length from site to site. In addition, each of our Walk MS routes is fully accessible to everyone, regardless of mobility.

Why are most of the 19 Walk MS for the Upstate New York Chapter events on the same weekend?
Imagine 11,000 people joining the movement toward a world free of MS together over a 48-hour period, and you’ll understand why Walk MS is happening on the same weekend. We will make a powerful statement by joining the movement together. Holding as many of our Walk MS events on the same weekend makes a bigger impact in raising awareness of our cause.  

Will lunch be served?
No. Most Walk MS events will be completed well before lunchtime. A light breakfast and snacks will be served at all Walk MS sites.

What is the event experience going to be like at the Walk MS locations?
We aim to make your experience at Walk MS as safe as possible for everyone, regardless of age or ability, while ensuring a fun, festival, community atmosphere. We also aim to raise as much money as possible to help fund annual programs and services and support MS research to find treatments, a cause and the cure for MS. We believe that in 2014 and beyond, we will continue to grow in number of participants and money raised. Our goal in 2014 is to raise $1.4 million to help create a world free of MS, but we can only do it with YOUR support and YOUR continued fundraising.

How many Walk MS events take place Nationwide?
There are currently 600 Walk MS events and 10 Challenge Walk MS events held nationwide; more than 250,000 walkers participate in support of the National MS Society. To learn more about Challenge Walk MS in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on September 5-7, 2014, click here. To learn more about other Walk MS events around the nation, visit walkMS.org.

What if I can’t finish the walk?
No problem! Each Walk MS site will have an accessible support vehicle patrolling the route. If necessary, a support vehicle can pick you up and take you to the finish line.

What do I wear at Walk MS?
Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers so you are warm at the start and finish lines and cool during the event. Please note: there is no baggage check at Walk MS.

What food is available at Walk MS?
Light snacks and a variety of beverages are available at the start line, rest stops on the route, and the finish line. If you have special dietary restrictions or needs, please bring your own food and/or beverages.

What are the safety rules at Walk MS?
The Walk MS route is not closed to traffic and all city and state laws must be obeyed at all times. Walkers are instructed to stay on the sidewalks and listen to law enforcement and official route marshals during the event. Walkers under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Wearing headphones and using cellular phones while walking is prohibited; please move to the side if you need to use a cell phone. The use of headphones limits your ability to hear critical safety notifications, as well as traffic, other pedestrians and participants around you. To ensure the safety of all Walk MS participants, roller skates/blades and bicycles are not permitted.

What do we do if it is inclement weather?
The event goes on rain or shine! Please check weather reports and come prepared.

If you still can’t find the answer to your question after reviewing the above information, contact our office at nyrevents@nmss.org, or  1-800-344-4867 (press 2).

Contact Us:

For general Walk MS questions, email nyrevents@nmss.org, or call 1-800-344-4867 (press 2).

Our Walk MS chapter mailing address is: 1650 South Ave., Suite 100, Rochester, NY 14620.

If you have more specific questions regarding your Walk MS location, contact the following staff:

Molly Van Ullen: Albany, Saratoga, Oneonta, Plattsburgh and Poughkeepsie

Molly.vanullen@nmss.org or 518-464-0112

Christy Missico: Rochester, Greece, Batavia, Corning/Elmira/Bath and Canandaigua

Christy.missico@nmss.org or 716-634-2573 (Ext. 70503)

Maria Batt: Buffalo, Jamestown, Fredonia/Dunkirk, Wellsville, and Lockport

Maria.batt@nmss.org or 716-634-2573 (Ext. 70501)

Holly Caiello: Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown and Mohawk Valley (Utica):

Holly.caiello@nmss.org or 1-800-344-4867 (Ext. 70701)
 

 

THANK YOU TO OUR NATIONAL SPONSORS

SOCIAL MEDIA

Fundraise with Facebook  

Change your profile picture to a photo of the Walk MS or National MS Society logo. It’s a constant reminder to your Facebook friends that you’re participating in Walk MS and raising funds for the Society. Send a newsfeed story using "Get the Word Out" and your friends can click directly on your status update to donate to you. Share your story of why you walk, and read stories of other participants. View your personalized fundraising badge, which includes a thermometer that keeps track of your fundraising progress and provides an easy way to check real time fundraising status.

Get your Facebook fundraising started today! Post a link on Facebook to the fundraising page in your Participant Center and let folks know how your Walk MS fundraising is going. Send a message through Facebook to all of your friends and spread the word about your fundraising. You never know who has a connection to MS. Here's a great how-to guide on raising funds through Facebook.

How to Email Your Facebook Friends

Facebook limits your messages to 20 people at a time. To send a fundraising or recruitment email to a large audience you should export your Facebook friends’ email addresses into your personal email or Participant Center. Yahoo recently released a new feature that does this for you. Once you’re logged into your Yahoo account, click on “contacts”, and then select the option to import your Facebook friends. Yahoo will take you through a step-by-step process. If you don’t have a Yahoo account, you can create one to get your Facebook contacts, and then export those email address to any email server of your choice.

Stay Up-to-Date on Walk MS News!

Walk MS Upstate New York is on Facebook. Stay updated with the latest event news and photos by joining the Walk MS Upstate New York page on Facebook.

Follow us and help us build our page! Be sure to post comments, share exciting news, and connect with other friends of the chapter.

If you do not already have a Facebook account, sign up for one at Facebook.com.

A Guide to Using Social Media – Tips and Tools

 

National MS Society - Upstate New York Chapter
1650 South Avenue Suite 100
Rochester, NY 14620
585-271-0801 ; nyrevents@nmss.org

©2014 National Multiple Sclerosis Society. All Rights Reserved.