As Simple as a WALK Around the Block!
As you may know, WALKs and Special Events are one of the Hydrocephalus Association’s (HA) primary revenue sources, raising 60% of HA’s total annual revenue in 2011.
HA currently has 32 WALKs across the U.S. You say you don’t have a local HA WALK?
WALK THIS WAY….the HA Virtual WALK!
So you don’t have a local HA WALK and starting one in your area isn’t feasible at this time? Community too small…time too short? Don’t worry – we have a way you, too, can participate in this HA WALK season – the Virtual WALK. Virtual Walkers do most of the things that participants in other HA WALKs do. They register to participate. They use HA’s online fundraising software to solicit contributions from family/friends all over the world. Virtual walkers earn great incentive prizes – and even receive a HA WALK T-shirt if they raise $50 or more. The only difference is that they walk in their own neighborhood at a time and distance convenient for them! Some virtual walkers invite family and friends to join them in their own “mini-WALK.” Others walk on their own. It’s the walker’s choice. Your virtual WALK can be held on any day of the year!
For more information on Virtual WALK please contact Randi Corey (email@example.com) for HA’s Virtual WALK FAQs. Or go to the HA web page, choose WALKs and then select Hydrocephalus WALK-FAQ. Toward the bottom of our Frequently Asked Questions you will find specific instructions for participating in HA’s Virtual WALK program. To register to participate in HA’s Virtual WALK go to the WALK registration site: www.hydroassoc.org; hover on WALKs, select Schedule of WALK Events and choose “Virtual WALK” (at the bottom of the list.) When the Virtual WALK web page opens select “Register Here” and follow the prompts.
Take a WALK for HA in your neighborhood this WALK season!
HA Extreme Athletes — Marathoners Going the Distance for a Cure!
While browsing HA’s web page have you ever run your mouse across the “Get Involved” heading and saw “Marathons” pop up? You may even have wondered what that was about. Over the past 2-3 years HA has been contacted by passionate people – people passionate about HA’s mission and passionate about training for an upcoming marathon or other “extreme” event. They asked how they could use participating in a marathon or other event to help increase hydrocephalus awareness and raise money for HA. To embrace our extreme athletes, HA formed the “Extreme Athletes” fundraising webpage – for athletes of all types who want to use their participation in an “extreme” event (iron man competition, marathons, bike rides) as a fundraiser.
It’s very similar to the WALKs – extreme athletes contact the HA national office to register their event or activity. When they are registered, we create a personal webpage allowing them to use HA’s online fundraising software (Friends Asking Friends) to send emails to everyone in their email contact list asking for their support. Family and friends can then support their participation through the webpage and with the ease of a credit card. Most of HA’s extreme athletes have a connection to the mission – a close family member or friend with hydrocephalus. In the email or letter they send out they explain that participating in the marathon is one way of honoring their loved one and demonstrating their commitment to help HA find a cure.
So, if one of your New Year’s resolutions (no – it’s NOT too early to be thinking about New Year’s resolutions J) – is to participate in a marathon, a half-marathon, or some other extreme athletic event, consider using it as an opportunity to increase hydrocephalus awareness and raise money for HA. For more information on joining HA’s “Extreme Athletes” please call the HA National office (888-598-3789 Ext. 12) Please note: HA does not conduct training programs for marathons or send participants to marathons.
Have an idea for a HA Fundraising Event?
Did you know that every year several fundraising events are held for HA? In addition to HA’s WALKs and Extreme Athlete events, volunteers across the country are creating and coordinating their own fundraising events for HA. For example, volunteers initiated and coordinated the following special events for HAin 2011 and 2012: a country-music concert, a Poker run, a golf tournament, a cross-country bicycle ride, a merchant promotion, a 5-K Run, a Car Show, and HA’s largest special event…Team Hydro and the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim for a Cure. The amount raised with these special events ranged between $500 and $115,000!
HA is eager to find volunteers with great ideas and who are willing to start and coordinate a new fundraising event. If you have an idea for a special event you’d like to start in your community we’d love to hear about it! Please contact Randi Corey, Director of Special Events at firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your phone number in the email.)
Take a WALK…Seeking new HA WALKs for the Fall of 2013
We’d love to be in more cities and towns! What does it take to start a HA WALK in your community? Contact Randi Corey (email@example.com) and we’ll talk. When you email, please include a telephone number so I may call you to explore the idea in more detail. All HA WALKs are volunteer initiated and volunteer coordinated so it’s very doable. In fact, many of our WALK Chairs work full time, in addition to having families, often including a child with hydrocephalus. It does, however, require a commitment from the volunteer leaders. Since HA does not have paid staff members coordinating its fundraising activities across the country, HA helps volunteer WALK Chairs as much as possible by providing extensive training (with one-on-one support), IT and web interfaces, fundraising software, WALK materials (brochures, posters, etc.), WALK incentive prizes and more.
What does a local WALK Chair do? Local volunteer Chairs recruit at least one person to co-chair the event with them – and a group of volunteers to help with the event planning and organization (3-5 people.) The local WALK Chair(s) uses their connections in the community to obtain donations (both cash and in-kind – donations of goods or services.) They organize the event’s logistics (site, route, all of the event day activities and supplies/equipment needed.) They recruit Family Teams and they work on getting the word out to the local hydrocephalus community.
If you’ve ever thought about starting a HA WALK in your area (preferably at least a 100 miles or a 2-hour drive from a current HA WALK site) now is the ideal time to explore the idea and obtain more information. HA is already gearing up for its fall 2013 WALKs and training for new WALK Chairs begins shortly after the beginning of the year. (Dates and details to be determined.) Still unsure? Please contact us! We’ll put you in touch with one of HA’s new 2012 WALK Chairs – let him/her tell you about his/her experience as a first-year WALK Chair!
Or volunteer for an established WALK…all of the anticipated 2013 HA WALK sites listed below are actively seeking volunteers to serve on the WALK committee – in whatever capacity best suits them. WALKs need help with soliciting corporate sponsorship, family team recruitment, site/route logistics, media/publicity and more. Please contact the HA national office (888-598-3789 Ext. 12) or send an email to Michael Ticzon, Special Events Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). He’ll be happy to connect you with the local volunteer WALK Chair(s).
Anticipated 2013 HA WALK Sites
(Not all have been confirmed to date)
Boca Raton, FL
Hartford/New Haven, CT
|Long Island, NY
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
St. Louis, MO
Steamboat Springs, CO
Any Town, Any State -Virtual WALK
THANK YOU to all of our hardworking volunteers across the U.S. coordinating WALKs, securing merchant promotions, running a golf tournament or even training for a marathon. With your continued support we will achieve our goal of eliminating the challenges of hydrocephalus!
Blog written by Randi Corey, National Director of Special Events and Volunteer Support