"$25k for the 25th Anniversary" MS150 Tour de Vine Challenge Launch!

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Click here to enter my free $51.95 giveaway for a chance to win 5% of My Personal Finance Journey blog income and give another 5% to a charity of your choosing! Deadline to enter is January 31st, 2013.

This year, for the 5th year in a row, I’ve decided to ride in the Bike MS Tour de Vine in Charlottesville, Virginia in order to raise support for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The date of the 150 mile tour is June 8-9, 2013.

My “$25k for the 25th Anniversary” Challenge

In the past 4 years, with everyone’s help, we have raised an inspirational amount of money for multiple sclerosis (MS). The total you helped me raise for MS in the 2009-2012 events is $16,285.67.
This year, with the MS150 Tour de Vine celebrating its 25th anniversary, my mission is to reach a total of $25,000 raised overall!
In doing the math, this means that $8,714.33 is the target amount that we need to raise this year! Can this amount be obtained? I challenge you to join me in this bold effort to say that, YES, it is indeed possible!
However, reaching this years target will definitely not be easy. As with many things, it will truly take a community effort to make this work. 

In order to get a larger number of people involved with this goal and to increase awareness, I’m requesting donations in $10 amounts.
If you are interested in making a $10 tax-deductible donation to sponsor my participation, please just click on the link below. Once on the page, scroll down and click the link titled, “Make a Donation” or “Donate to Jacob” just below my picture to enter your information. (The whole process only took 3 min when I went in and made the 1st contribution for this year).
Jacob’s 2013 MS150 Tour de Vine Fundraising Page

Additional Steps I’m Taking to Meet the “$25k for the 25th Anniversary” Challenge

As the name suggests, obtaining this goal of raising $25,000 overall this year will be quite CHALLENGING. Because of this, I’m embarking on several additional fundraising steps this year that I have not done in the past:

  • 1. In order to encourage young adults to get involved in the personal finance habit of donating to charity (which often is only adopted later in life), MyPersonalFinanceJourney.com will not only match, but DOUBLE any money donated to my MS ride by people under the age of 30 years old. This is on top of the 5% of my blog income I’ll donate each month to the MS150 cause as part of my monthly 10% give back.
  • 2. Throughout the weekends of the spring and summer, I will set up and ride my bike trainer outside of various Harris Teeter’s, Wal-Mart’s, Target’s, Kroger’s, and the Downtown Mall throughout my hometown area here to promote the MS Society and raise funds.

About MS

Every hour of every day, someone is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bike MS is a ride that connects friends, families and co-workers. Each mile we ride brings us closer to a world free of MS.
Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms. Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and it stops people from moving. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.

Why I Ride the MS150 Each Year – My Connection with MS

Often, people ask me why I ride the MS150 bike event each year and/or why I have chosen to support the MS Society cause with such dedication. 
Unlike others who ride in the event, I cannot claim to have a really motivational personal connection to the MS-disease (sorry!). For example, I personally don’t have MS, I don’t know of any of my family members that do, and none of my friends have developed the disease (fingers crossed that it stays this way!).
However, in the past 5 years, I have become very passionate about supporting the MS Society cause! I first got introduced to the cause and event while working for my old company in 2009. Our Grateful Tread Team Captain knew that I was a big fan of cycling and had raced for several years in the past. Because of this, he asked if I wanted to ride on the Grateful Tread team in the 2009 event. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun! Why not, right?!
After riding the event in 2009, I became instantly hooked by the people and cause of the MS Society/MS150. The MS150 Bike Ride allows me to have a lot of fun participating in my favorite sport, cycling, while at the same time, raising funds to support the highly worthwhile cause of creating a world free of MS.
In the past 5 years through my involvement with the Blue Ridge Chapter of the MS Society, it has been very inspirational to be included in some of the chapter’s events. In 2011, I attended the dedication ceremony of the James Q. Miller MS Clinic at University of Virginia, one of the most comprehensive MS care clinics within a 4 state radius. In addition, I was invited to attend dinners in 2011-2012 honoring new inductees in to the MS Society Hall of Fame and to reveal several new medicines being developed to combat the disease.
At all of these events, perhaps the most significant thing I always remember are the stories from the actual MS patients being helped by the MS Society by our fundraising efforts. Compared to other diseases, the thing that really makes MS so difficult (for the patients and caregivers) is that the disease is not fast acting (i.e. it does not kill someone in two months after diagnosis). Instead, MS can potentially affect a patient for decades, often accompanied by a long slow decline in motor function. Being someone who relies on exercise and movement for fun, health (both mental and physical health aspects), and sport/competition, I am very motivated to support the MS Society cause to rid the world of this disease which robs people of their ability to participate in the activities that enhance quality of life.    
Lastly, it is fairly interesting how my life activities and multiple sclerosis have converged over the past 5 years. When I first started doing the MS150 ride in 2009, I worked with a cancer vaccine. Since then, I have returned to graduate school and am studying Alzheimer’s disease, which is coincidentally in the same category of neurodegenerative diseases as MS! In addition, my girlfriend now works for the MS clinic here at University of Virginia doing clinical research trials for MS. In other words, it is safe to say that my relationship has grown with MS over the past few years, and it is truly a pleasure to be a part of the MS community! 🙂


I’ll plan to give periodic updates on my fundraising progress and what matches MPFJ.com does in the next few months.

Thanks so much for reading and your continued support!
Jacob

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