Thoughts About Giving

Champions for the MS Community

By Joe Sperlunto
MSAA Donor Experience Manager

With nearly one million individuals living with MS across the country as well as an army of loved ones and care partners, MSAA is fortunate to have built a small but mighty community of champions. Hundreds of people, many of whom are personally affected by MS, are busy organizing sporting events, house parties, and digital fundraising campaigns to support MSAA’s full suite of programs and services. Volunteer-driven fundraising generates much of the support MSAA relies on – and we have some of the best volunteer fundraisers in the world – whether it’s a Team MSAA event or using our Do-It-Yourself fundraising platform to build their own unique event or fundraising campaign, MSAA is proud to partner with the community to improve lives today, and every day. Join us this year to make a difference in the lives of our MSAA family!

MSAA’s community of champions includes many dedicated volunteers who help raise much-needed support for MSAA through their participation in volunteer-driven fundraising. Pictured left to right: Allie, sharing her medal that she received after completing the Walt Disney World® Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which includes a half marathon followed by a marathon the next day; Richard “Dix” swam three lakes during one weekend in California to complete his Swim for MS fundraising challenge; and Jen (left) and Denise, joined Team MSAA and participated in MSAA’s Anniversary Challenge.

Anniversary Challenge

Founded on June 8th, 1970, MSAA commemorates our founding with an anniversary challenge bringing together individuals and teams of people in support of our mission to improve lives today. Participants fundraise and pledge to walk, run, or ride various distances to show their commitment to the MS community. The spirit of the event is community and togetherness, so some participants choose alternate accessible ways to get out – using wheelchairs or walkers – and others decide to get creative, moving in all kinds of ways including jump rope!

Since its inception in 2020, the Anniversary Challenge event has built strong connections among people passionate about MSAA’s mission, while raising critical funds for our free programs and services. While prizes are awarded to the participants who fundraise the most, Anniversary Challenge participants will tell you that the real prize is working with their friends, family, and even strangers to advocate for the MS community.

In 2023, MSAA is looking to expand this program and host in-person events in a few communities. Interested in seeing an Anniversary Challenge event near you? Email and let us know! Across the country, our hope is to ring in 53 years of service and commitment by recruiting 53 teams for this year’s event.

Team MSAA at runDisney

In 2023, Team MSAA will be going to Walt Disney World® not once, but twice! Our first trip will be January 4th – 8th for the Walt Disney World® Marathon weekend with MSAA’s largest runDisney team yet – nearly 100 runners and walkers! Team MSAA will return to Walt Disney World® again April 13th – 16th for the runDisney Springtime Surprise weekend with another stellar team of runners and walkers fundraising for MSAA’s free programs and services. At both of these incredibly fun events, our teams make friends, push themselves to fundraise, and support each other while running or walking courses of varying lengths with their favorite Disney characters through America’s favorite family resort.

MSAA DIY Fundraisers

Many of our MSAA champions like to host Do-It-Yourself fundraisers on MSAA’s DIY fundraising platform. This community is so creative, and the list of unique fundraising ideas they’ve come up with is endless. Our supporters have hosted basketball tournaments, golf outings, runs/walks, swimming competitions, Halloween costume contests, holiday pie sales, and more! Often, these events are organized by MSAA clients diagnosed with MS. While they host fundraisers, these champions also bring their friends, family, and community together to educate them about multiple sclerosis, creating new MS advocates in the process. Our website’s DIY fundraising platform allows you to create a customizable fundraising page for your event that can be shared via email and social media. And if you need printed MSAA materials for your event, just reach out.

Through these programs, the MSAA community of champions has grown strong – but we still need others to get involved. If you are moved to step up and support your community, please choose a fundraising option and sign up using one of the links below. You will have fun, build community, advocate for those with MS, and raise needed funds for MSAA’s free programs and services. If you’re not sure where to start, give us a call and we can support you every step of the way!

For questions about MSAA’s Anniversary Challenge or runDisney, please contact Jen Gaynor, Director of Development at or visit or

For questions about DIY fundraising, please contact Joe Sperlunto, Donor Experience Manager at or visit

P.S. – With the holidays approaching, we’d be remiss to not mention our Shop and Support partners! Please visit to get our AmazonSmile code and see a list of other participating brands!