By: Danny Shivers, Delaware Chapter Volunteer Musician
For the fundraising events, I play acoustic guitar and I sing popular songs for the other volunteers when they return from the walks. I also set up sound systems when they are needed, and I sang the National Anthem at Crankin' for a Cure. I really enjoy it.
I volunteer because I believe that when God gives us a talent, we should use that talent to help others. When we are given a gift, such as the ability to sing or play an instrument, we should share that gift with others, and use it for something good. I also believe, that as a performer, I need to give back to the community- the people that support musicians. I love performing for the MS Society, the people that organize and attend the events are so appreciative of the fact that you are volunteering. It is a great feeling.
My favorite story about an event involves two ladies; both of them are in wheelchairs. They really enjoy when I perform and I would see them at the Wilmington events. Two events went by, and I hadn’t seen them. I was wondering what happened to them. When I performed at the Dover Walk, there they were! They had moved to Seaford, and live not far from me!
My personal connection to MS: I have a good friend, Steve Evans, who lives in Salisbury, MD, who was diagnosed with MS several years ago. He is using a wheelchair now.
By: Betty Fink
This is my 3rd year as a volunteer for the Delaware Chapter. Last year, I had my own rest stop [at Bike to the Bay] which is Lake Forrest (rest stop pictured to the right). I also helped with shuttling to hotels, and I served dinner. Other than the Bike to the Bay, I do registration for the Walk at the Riverfront and Crankin for a Cure in Middletown. I was on the 2011 Bike to the Bay Planning Committee and I’m on this again this year.
Why I Started Volunteering
About 12 years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer. He started riding and doing the BTTB in order to build up his stamina. He passed away 7 years ago and since then it increased my desire to volunteer, but I didn’t know how to go about it. Three years ago, I was on my way to work and I saw the billboard on I-95 with the website to volunteer with the BTTB. Since then, I know several people that are fighting MS and I feel that this is my way of helping. I can’t get enough volunteer work.
My Favorite Memories
Last year, there were two families that volunteered to work at the Lake Forrest rest stop. They both had young sons who made an impression on me. The one on Saturday was handicapped, but he was so into helping us with things. He put balloons up with his father and I remember the smile that he greeted everyone with. The one on Sunday was a hoot. He was singing and dancing and had everyone laughing. There are so many memories, but these are the two that stick out in my mind the most.
My Connections to MS
I always knew that MS was a crippling disease, but I never knew that it could progress over time. I have a customer that I’ve known for over 10 years and when I first worked with her she had no outward signs of MS, but her brother was in a wheelchair due to MS. I hadn’t seen her for a number of years and she is now in a wheelchair. I know a sister and brother who both have this disease. The sister has known of this for several years. Last year the brother was working at the beach and was having some seeing problems. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with MS. They both have very small children and have such a positive outlook. During my years volunteering I have met a number of people with the disease and they are so appreciative of the work that this group does that it makes me want to do more.
One last thing that I would like to say and that is that the Delaware MS staff is GREAT. They make volunteers feel important and a part of their family. I have never felt like I wasn’t appreciated in whatever time that I could give for an event. I feel like I’m an important part and that I help to make a difference.
To sign up as a volunteer for Bike to the Bay, click here or call (302) 655-5610.
The Tour de Fruit is an active group of individuals who enjoy living a healthy lifestyle and giving back to the community, and want to have fun while doing it! These individuals are not "cyclists" or "runners", but people who want to make a difference! The team is sponsored by Dole Fresh Fruit Company and captained by Dole's Wilmington Container Terminal Manager, Sean Clancy. The team has many Dole employees, but also has a large contingent of friends and family members. The name was born through a contest amongst team members. Erik Clancy was the contest winner and the Tour de Fruit was born.
As a group, the team has completed the MS Society's 2010 and 2011 Bike to the Bay and the 2011 MS Philly Mud Run and the 2012 MS Muckruckus. Team members have also participated as the celebrity cycling team at the Amish Country Bike Tour as well as participated in the Lewes Polar Bear Plunge, the Tubbs Romp to Stomp Snow Shoe Series, the 2011 and 2012 Crankin' for a Cure and many 5k runs and walks.
The team has a large following of volunteers that act not only as a rooting section, but as a support staff. These volunteers won the Bike to the Bay's 2010 and 2011 Best Tent contest and were a major attraction at the Philly Mud Run. Wherever the Tour de Fruit travel, Bobby Banana and Pinellopy Pineapple are sure to follow. Dole Fresh Fruit has been a sponsor of the Delaware Chapter of the MS Society for over 20 years and provides fruit for all chapter walks, runs and cycling events.
Team Tour de Fruit was the 9th top fundraising team at the 2011 Bike to the Bay.
Meet Bike to the Bay Volunteer Registration Coordinator
By: Mindy Rolkowski
I have volunteered for the Delaware Chapter for about 10 years now. I started working the Bike to the Bay in 2002 at the finish line selling souvenirs when it was at Ruddertown in Dewey. I've since graduated to working on the [planning] committee for the Bike to the Bay and the Dover Walk. My specialty is registration ;o). I also worked the Muck Ruckus last year and had a blast.
I love to volunteer! I believe in giving back and worthwhile volunteer work is one of the ways I can.
My favorite memory is from one of the years we finished at Ruddertown, I think it was the last year there; it rained nearly the entire ride. I had these hideous neon yellow socks to sell and I remember thinking how unlikely it was that anyone would actually buy them. The rain turned out to be a really great marketing tool and I sold every single pair of those socks. The search for dry feet made them very attractive and even though they were men's and quite large, the ladies bought them too. I only wish I would have had about 100 more to sell.
I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS in 1998 shortly before I moved to DE from FL with a short stop in DC. I decided at that time that I wanted to get involved with raising awareness and funds to help with research. I am very, very blessed and although I have MS, I am able to do whatever I want. I believe in what the MS Society does and I will continue to volunteer whenever I can and hope to become even more involved in future fund raising events.
Mindy Rolkowski was awarded with the Delaware Chapter’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year recognition and is the Volunteer Registration Coordinator for Bike to the Bay.
To sign up as a volunteer for Bike to the Bay, click here or call (302) 655-5610.
In about 2000, some friends of the Ansley family started participating in the MS Ride, sponsored by their business John H. Ansley Photography, because Kevin Ansley has the disease [MS]. Kevin is their son, brother, son- and brother-in-law, husband, father, and friend. The team has ridden every year since 2004, growing to about 18 riders and raising almost $87,000. Recruitment has been pretty easy - generally people have signed up when asked. Plus, they get a great bike jersey and matching t-shirt. Finally, the Ride is always a lot of fun and very organized thanks to the Society's staff.
For the Team, there are a number of values to this annual fall ride. Primarily, it gives everybody another way to fight the disease. They've all seen it destroying Kevin over the last thirteen years. They've seen it make it very difficult to play with his sons - they see that he can't play tag or catch, or wrestle. They've seen him quit working. And the ride gave them all a way to fight back.
A good fundraising tactic has been to ask a lot of people, and to make it VERY easy to donate. Email is great for that, and you can put the hyperlink for your fundraising page right below your signature automatically with most commercial email programs. Something else we did was create a team web page, www.ansleyphotofinish.org. It has a little bit of good information about the team, hyperlinks to the team members' fundraising pages, and some team photos. Getting it set up is easy and cheap. You can send Kevin an email from the bottom of the web page, and he can help you.
Register or donate to the ride today!
Would you like your team featured in a future team spotlight? We want to hear from you! Tell us about your team, why you ride, your favorite part of Bike to the Bay, or your best fundraising/recruitment strategy! To submit your Team Spotlight, contact Stephanie Fitzpatrick at email@example.com or Linda Risk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be taken on a first- come, first served basis.