Frequently Asked Questions

About the Challenge Walk MS

What is Challenge Walk MS?

This will be the greatest walk you’ll ever take: connecting to end MS over three days and 50 miles! The walk challenges you to push past your limits both physically and philanthropically. Funds raised through Challenge Walk MS drive cutting-edge research and support vital programs and services for people living with MS. It’s not about being athletic — it’s about showing compassion. Join our commitment to raise funds and awareness about a disease that affects 2.1 million people worldwide.


Who do I make checks payable to?

Please make all checks payable to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


What do I do with cash and checks I receive as donations?

Donations can be mailed to the National MS Society, Challenge Walker Headquarters | 12121 Scripps Summit Drive, Suite 190, San Diego, CA 92131. The donations mailed into our office will be entered into your online account. Please include your name and the event in the memo field or in a separate note included with the donations. All walkers must turn in at least $2,500 (ages 17 or older) or $1,500 (ages 10-16) in donations by (date) in order to walk. If you have not turned in the minimum pledge by the start of the event, the National MS Society will discuss payment options, including charging the balance onto a credit card, with you.


How old do I have to be to participate?

Walkers must be 10 years old or older by September 4th, 2014 in order to participate in Challenge Walk MS. Parents must still walk in the event with their child age 10-17 at all times. No children under the age of 10 are permitted to walk. All participants under the age of 18 must bring a notarized waiver, signed by a parent, to the event. Please call the chapter at (800) 486-6762 to request a special waiver be mailed to you.


Where do I make accommodations for the weekend?

For more information please visit our Accommodations page. Or contact Jennifer West by calling (760) 448-8435 or by email for details.


How much does it cost to register for Challenge Walk MS?

Participants may register for $55 January 1st through March 31st. From April 1st to June 30th, participants may register for $65. Beginning July 1st, registration fees increase to $75.


What kind of support does the National MS Society offer to Challenge Walk MS?

We are here to support you every step of the way. This includes pre-event things such as building a team and helping you with fundraising and training. During the event, we provide accommodations, all meals, full route support and more enthusiasm than you can imagine!


What if I can't collect my pledges?

When you participate in Challenge Walk MS, you are making a commitment to fulfill the $2,500 (ages 17+) or $1,500 (ages 10-16) pledge minimum. We count on each and every dollar to support MS research and to provide and services for people living with MS. If you are finding it difficult to collect your pledges, please call us. We can provide you with some fundraising ideas. Participants unable to meet the minimum pledge requirement will not be allowed to participate in the activities of Challenge Walk MS.


Where will my donation go?

The donations from Challenge Walk MS drive cutting-edge MS research and support vital programs and services for people living with MS.


What happens if it rains?

Keep your fingers crossed! We hope that it will not rain during the Challenge Walk MS, but we will walk rain or shine. In the event of lightning or other dangerous conditions, we will delay the event until conditions improve.


Is my registration fee refundable?

Please contact the Challenge Walk MS Headquarters for more information at (800) 486-6762.


Can I bring a friend with me who didn't register prior to the event?

Yes! Your friend will need to go to the registration check-in table on September 4th from 4-8pm or September 5th from 7-8am. Your friend will need to pay a full registration fee of $75 as well as, turning in the $2,500 (ages 17+) or $1,500 (ages 10-16) pledge minimum. We encourage everyone to pre-register.

General Event Questions

What if I forgot my Username and Password?

Remember that your username and password are case sensitive. Click here to find your password. You will receive an e-mail with your username and password. If you still have problems, please contact us at (800) 486-6762.


How do I change my Username and Password?

First, log in to the site using your username and password. Once logged in you will see a link at the top of the page called "Update My Profile." Once in your profile, you will be able to change your contact information, e-mail address, username and password. All changes will be made to your account immediately. There is no need to sign in again.

About My Challenge Walk MS Participant Center

What is a personal page?

A personal page is an online promotional tool for your use when asking your friends and family to join your team or sponsor you by making a donation. Once you sign up for an event online, by default, you will have a personal page created for you. You have the option of personalizing this page by going to your Walk Center. You will be able to customize images, text and the style/color layout of the page.


By default I have a personal page, do I have to change it?

Once you sign up for an event online, by default, you will have a personal page created for you. A compelling personal page attracts and engages supporters. While you can spread the word using customized e-mail solicitations, your personal campaign page can be your own creative expression of your commitment to the cause. Customize your page by selecting the layout and style that work best for you. Utilize the elements of text, photo and status indicators to their fullest advantage.


How do I change my personal fundraising goal?

First, you will need to log in to your Challenge Walk MS Center. On the bottom right side of the home page is the location to modify your personal fundraising goal. Enter your new goal and submit the changes.


How do I change my team name, team division or team goal?

Only the team captain has the ability to change the team name or team division. The team captain will need to login to his/her walk center and click the "My Team Progress" button on the top right. On the Team Progress page, team captains will have the ability to update the team name, division and goal.


How can I see who has donated to me?

Log in to the site using your Username and Password. Go to your Walk Center and click the "My Progress" tab; this will allow you to view your donor list and any amounts having been donated.


How can I see who is on my team?

Log in to the site using your Username and Password. Go to your Walk Center and click the "Team Progress" tab; this will allow you to view your team roster and the amounts raised by each team member.


What is a team message?

Simply go to your Challenge Walk MS Center and click the "Update Message to Team" button. This will allow you to make all necessary changes to your team message.


What is the difference between making my personal page private or public?

By default, a personal page is Public, meaning your name will appear in the participant search list, and anyone accessing the site will be able to support you. Setting your personal page to Private means your name will not appear in the participant search list, and only people you personally invite will be able to support you.


How do I create a shortcut URL for my personal page?

In your Participant Center, go to the Personal Page tab. Click on Edit to edit your page. Where it says "Personal Page URL and Settings", enter a shortcut. The resulting shortcut URL will be http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/xxx, where xxx is the shortcut you choose. Click the Save button when done.

Event Information

What is Challenge Walk?

The Challenge Walk is a three-day, 50-mile walk held on September 5-7, 2014, to create a world free of MS. Starting in Carlsbad, California, approximately 300 Walkers will enjoy ocean views while walking to downtown San Diego. The route is fully supported with rest stops, lunches, snacks, beverages and medical staff. All participants spend two nights at our host hotel and are treated to banquet breakfasts and dinners. Our goal is to raise $1 million towards a world free of MS. For more information please contact Jennifer West at (760) 448-8435.


How far do we walk?

The Challenge Walk is a three-day, 50-mile walk. Day One: 20 miles from Carlsbad to Del Mar. Day Two: 20 miles from Del Mar to Ventura Cove in Mission Bay. Day Three: 10 miles from Ventura Cove to downtown San Diego. If a Walker is unable to complete a portion of the route, Support and Gear (SAG) vehicles provide transportation assistance all three days.


Do I have to carry all my gear while walking?

No. We will transport your luggage from the start line to the hotel, and to the finish line on Day Three. You simply drop your gear off at the luggage truck in the morning, before you begin your walk for the day, and we will take care of the rest. Each morning you can drop your SWAG bag off at the luggage truck and we will have it waiting for you at the lunch stop. You can put items in your bag that you may want on your break.


Is the route fully accessible?

Our route is fully accessible along city streets so people of all mobility levels can participate in the event. Additionally, we provide a vehicle capable of transporting a wheelchair as well as SAG vehicles along the route for participants who may need extra help. Because some roads could be difficult to navigate, we recommend all participants who have special needs create a route plan with Chapter staff prior to the event for everyone's safety.


How can I participate?

Registration is simply a click away! You can bring us closer to a cure by walking, volunteering or becoming a Super Crew or Crew member.

Virtual Walker: No registration fee. Be a part of the event by volunteering for a 3-5 hour shift.

Walker: $55 Registration Fee from January - March 31st. $65 registration fee from April 1st - June 30th and $75 registration fee from July 1st to event weekend. Participate in all aspects of the event and raise the $2,500 pledge minimum (with our support). Walkers between the ages of 10 and 16 have a fundraising minimum of $1,500.

Super Crew: $65 Registration Fee from January - June 30th. $75 from July 1st - event weekend. Volunteer all three days of the event and raise $2,500 or more. Hotel accommodations and banquet meals are included.

Crew: $65 Registration Fee from January - June 30th. $75 from July 1st - event weekend. Volunteer all three days of the event. Banquet meals included; discounted rate on hotel accommodations available. (Only 50 Crew positions available).

Volunteer: No registration fee. Be a part of the event by volunteering for a 3-5 hour shift.

Sponsorship: It takes a special company to sponsor such a meaningful event. There are numerous sponsorship opportunities available that can be customized to fit any company's needs. For more information, please contact Jennifer West at (760) 448-8435.


Who can participate?

Everyone! Participants must be 10 years or older to participate. All Walkers, Crew and Super Crew members between the ages of 10 and 17 must be accompanied by a participating parent or guardian at all times. Participants and volunteers must have valid medical health insurance to participate.


Where do I sleep?

Challenge Walk has overnight hotel accommodations. Each room hosts a minimum of two guests and a maximum of four. Two guests will be automatically assigned unless otherwise requested. The Challenge Walk host hotel is the San Diego Marriott Del Mar. Participants will stay at the Marriott or a nearby hotel on Friday and Saturday night. Hotel placement will be dependent on timely submission of participants confirmation packets and fundraising status. Confirmations will be available via email.

If you need your own hotel room because you prefer to stay alone or have family staying with you, please indicate this on your confirmation packet. The charge for your own room is $200 ($100 for Friday night and $100 for Saturday night). If you need hotel accommodations on Thursday and/or Sunday night, please indicate this on your confirmation packet. We will submit a rooming list to the hotel so that you can occupy the same room your entire stay. There will be $125 per night (plus tax) charges to your credit card if you choose to say an additional night(s) for Thursday and/or Sunday. 


What kind of support does the National MS Society offer to Walkers?

We are here to support you every step of the way. This includes pre-event issues such as building a team and helping you with fundraising and training. During the event we provide accommodations, all meals, full route support and more enthusiasm than you can imagine! There are also numerous online resources for participants available on this website.

Once you make the commitment and register for the Challenge Walk, a fundraising Walker Coach will be assigned to you. Your Walker Coach is there to help you reach your fundraising minimum of $2,500 (ages 17+) or $,1500 (ages 10-16) by creating a customized fundraising plan that fits you. Your Walker Coach can also answer any questions you have about the event including event weekend details. 


What kind of transportation is provided?

We will provide shuttle service from the San Diego Marriott Del Mar to the start line at the Flower Fields early Friday morning. The shuttles will leave at 6:30am from the San Diego Marriott Del Mar. There if no fee for this shuttle service. You can also leave your vehicle at the Flower Fields the entire weekend where there will be secured parking at no charge. We will also provide a shuttle from the finish line at Embarcadero Park to the San Diego Marriott Del Mar and to the Flower Fields on Sunday after the walk. There is a $15 charge for this shuttle service. Please contact us at (800) 486-6762 or email her at MSchallenge@mspacific.orgif you would like to purchase a shuttle ticket from the finish line.


Can I bring a guest to dinner?

Yes, you can bring a guest. Please keep in mind that seating is limited so we take reservations on a first come first serve basis. Meal tickets are $40 each. Please contact us at (800) 486-6762 or email us at MSchallenge@mspacific.org if you would like to purchase a meal ticket and indicate which night (Friday or Saturday).


Can my family come and see me during the event?

Invite your friends, family, neighbors and dogs! Everyone is welcome to our start and finish lines, we would love their support! To ensure the safety of the participants, we do not encourage spectators along the route.

Start Line
Flower Fields, Carlsbad, CA
5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
7:30AM - Opening Ceremony
Guest parking available on-site at Armstrong Gardens.

Finish Line
Embarcadero Marina Park South Marina Park Way, San Diego, CA 92101 View Map.
11:30AM: Welcome Participants across the finish line, Closing Ceremony, Lunch
Guest parking information: Hilton Bay Front Parking Structure is available for $10 if you mention Challenge Walk, other lots available near the site, as well as metered spots. ADA parking available at Embarcadero Marina Park South, but may fill up quickly. 

Registration

How do I request an information package about Challenge Walk MS?

If you can't find the information you are looking for on this website, please call us at (800) 486-6762 or email Jennifer West, and we will mail an information packet to you.


Before you register - important things you need to know:

All participants agree to raise $2,500 ($1,500 for Walkers ages 10-16) by the fundraising deadline of August 20th, 2014. 

Each Walker (whether you are on a team or not) is responsible for her or his own fundraising commitment.

All participants must have medical insurance at the time of the event to participate. 

To register for Challenge Walk MS, all Walkers must be 10 years old or older by event weekend. Walkers under 18 years old need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also registered for the event. Additionally, a notarized waiver will be required for all minors.


How do I register for the Challenge Walk MS?

Simply visit our home page, click on "Register Here" and complete the online form. You will receive a confirmation email once the registration is processed. If you don't wish to register online, please call us at (800) 486-6762, and we will register you over the phone.


What is an "Explore The Challenge" (ETC) get-together?

Learn how you can make a difference in the fight against MS by attending a free Explore the Challenge get-together. We invite you to join us for a meet & greet that will inspire you to take the Challenge. Meet with past Walkers and learn all about the event. This is a free, no obligation event.


What is a confirmation and what if I have not received it?

The confirmation provides necessary information for the weekend, such as your hotel, diet and medical needs. It also confirms you are committed to Challenge Walk MS, so we can plan accordingly to keep costs to a minimum. Please be timely with your submission of confirmation and credit card information.

If you have not received a confirmation by August 15th, 2014 or have questions, please call (800) 486-6762.

Fundraising & Donations

What is the fundraising commitment?

All Walkers and Super Crew members are required to raise $2,500 ($1,500 for Walkers ages 10-16 years). To honor the commitment of Walkers, and preserve the Chapter's financial integrity, no one will be permitted to walk who has not raised the minimum pledge prior to the fundraising deadline of August 20th, 2014. 


What if I don't raise the $2,500 fundraising pledge minimum?

It is not surprising that you may be a little intimidated by the thought of raising $2,500, but with our support you can reach this goal! Thousands of Walkers have succeeded in raising much more than their initial pledge goal. You can too!

If you should find yourself below the minimum pledge amount when the deadline rolls around, you have three (3) options:

- Self-pledge the remaining dollars to ensure your place as a Walker.

- Choose not to walk, but be happy knowing that donations go towards a great cause.

- Choose not to walk, but volunteer for a 3-5 hour shift during the event.

Please note: All participants must have reached their fundraising minimum by the fundraising deadline, August 20th, 2014. Participants who have registered as a Walker and who have not raised their minimum fundraising pledge may not transfer their participation status to Crew.


Where will my donation go?

The donations from the Challenge Walk funds research to find a cure. It is also used to support local programs and support services to help people and families living with MS. Seventy-eight cents of every dollar raised goes directly to the National MS Society programs, services, education and research, with only 22 cents used for fundraising and administrative costs.


What is the deadline for meeting the $2,500 fundraising pledge minimum?

The fundraising deadline is August 20th, 2014.


Does my registration fee go towards my fundraising minimum?

No. Your registration fee helps cover administration costs and does not apply towards your fundraising minimum of $2,500, and is not tax-deductible.


I am mailing in donations. What do I need to do before I seal the envelope?

Please make all checks payable to the National MS Society.

Record the name, address, and donation amount of all donors before sending the donations. By recording this information, you will be able to track your "balance" listed on your webpage against donations that you received to verify everything is correct.

Write the participant's name and Challenge Walk MS on the memo line of the check. 


Where do I mail my donations?

Label each check with the Walker's name and Challenge Walk MS. (We have several events that overlap and we want to be sure to post the donation accurately.)

Do not send cash. Send all donations to:
National MS Society
ATTN: Challenge Walker Headquarters
12121 Scripps Summit Dr. #190
San Diego, CA 92131 


How long does it take for mailed donations to appear on my webpage?

They can take up to two weeks for the donation to post to your account. Please note that the "real time" standings and contributions listed on this site, and the individuals and team fundraising totals reflect only the information that has been entered in the online fundraising system, Convio.

If you are concerned that a donation did not reach the Society, please contact Merri Hulet at (760) 448-8419. We encourage all participants to keep a record of their donations to verify every donation is posted correctly.


One of my donors is requesting an EIN number, Tax ID number, or a 501(c) 3 letter. How can I get these?

The National MS Society's EIN and Tax ID number is 95-2633200. A 501(c) 3 letter is a document provided by the IRS confirming our nonprofit status. For a copy, please contact Jennifer West at (760) 448-8435.


Do all of my donors receive a receipt?

Only those donors giving $250 or more will receive an automatic acknowledgement from the National MS Society. Any donor who writes a check may use his or her canceled check as a receipt or you can provide a donor receipt.


Are all donations tax deductible?

Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law.


What are matching gifts & how do I know if I am eligible for them?

Many employers have programs that contribute or "match" donations made to nonprofit organizations. The donor should check with his/her human resources (HR) department to confirm if a matching gift program is offered. Please note: For the matching gifts to count towards your minimum pledge, matching gift forms must be received prior to the fundraising deadline, August 20th, 2014. Please contact Merri Hulet at (760) 448-8419 for questions regarding matching gifts or visit our matching gifts page.

Website

Who or what is Convio?

Convio is a marketing infrastructure service provider offering advanced internet fundraising solutions to charitable, educational, and political organizations. Through the website you can register for the event, create your own personal fundraising webpage and collect donations from family and friends. Please contact us at (800) 486-6762 if you have any technical questions.


How do I delete or change my donors' information on the "Honor Roll"?

Please contact us at (800) 486-6762 to have the information changed or removed.


I am having trouble with my Online Account. Who should I call?

Please contact us at (800) 486-6762.


Is my information secure?

Yes. Convio has made every effort to protect your information. Industry-standard SSL encryption techniques are used to make sure that your credit card information, passwords and personal information travel securely over the internet.


I forgot my Username and Password.

Remember that your username and password are case sensitive. Click here to find your password. You will receive an e-mail with your username and password. If you still have problems, please contact us at MSchallenge@MSpacific.org.


How do I change my Username and/or Password?

First, login to the site using your username and password. Once logged in you will see a link at the top of the page called "Update My Profile." Once in your profile, you will be able to change your contact information, e-mail address, username and password. All changes will be made to your account immediately. There is no need to sign in again.


What is a Personal Page?

A personal page is an online promotional tool for your use when asking your friends and family to join your team or sponsor you by making a donation. Once you sign up for an event online, by default, you will have a personal page created for you. You have the option of personalizing this page by going to your Walk Center. You will be able to customize images, text and the style/color layout of the page.


By default I have a personal page, do I have to change it?

Once you sign up for an event online, by default, you will have a personal page created for you. A compelling personal page attracts and engages supporters. While you can spread the word using customized e-mail solicitations, your personal campaign page can be your own creative expression of your commitment to the cause. Customize your page by selecting the layout and style that work best for you. Utilize the elements of text, photo and status indicators to their fullest advantage.


How do I change my personal fundraising goal?

First, you will need to login to your Walk Center. On the bottom right side of the Walk Center home page is the location to modify your personal fundraising goal. Enter your new goal and submit the changes.


How do I change my team name, team division or team goal?

Only the team captain has the ability to change the team name or team division. The team captain will need to login to his/her walk center and click the "My Team Progress" button on the top right. On the Team Progress page, team captains will have the ability to update the team name, division and goal.


How can I see who has donated to me?

Login to the site using your Username and Password. Go to your Walk Center and click the "My Progress" tab; this will allow you to view your donor list and any amounts having been donated.


How can I see who is on my team?

Login to the site using your Username and Password. Go to your Walk Center and click the "Team Progress" tab; this will allow you to view your team roster and the amounts raised by each team member.


What is a team message?

Simply go to your Walk Center and click the "Update Message to Team" button. This will allow you to make all necessary changes to your team message.


What is the difference between making my personal page private or public?

By default, a personal page is Public, meaning your name will appear in the participant search list, and anyone accessing the site will be able to support you. Setting your personal page to Private means your name will not appear in the participant search list, and only people you personally invite will be able to support you.

Teams

Can I participate with my friends and family?

Of course! All you need is two or more people and you have an official team! There is no better way to enjoy the experience of Challenge Walk MS than with a team of family and friends! Each individual Walker is responsible for raising at least $2,500 (ages 17+) or $1,500 (ages 10-16).

The Challenge Walk is a great teambuilding opportunity for companies. Employers and employees can work hand-in-hand for a worthy cause in addition to building camaraderie and having a great support system to train, fundraise and keep motivated. If you are interested in forming a team, please contact us at (800) 486-6762 or teamMS@mspacific.org


How do I join or form a team?

If you haven't registered yet, simply register online and select "Join a Team" or "Form a Team." Search for the name of the team you would like to join, or simply call us and we will partner you with a suitable team. If you have already registered for the Challenge Walk MS and would like to join a team, call us at (800) 486-6762 or teamMS@mspacific.org


Can team members share or split donations?

Each team member is responsible for raising the fundraising minimum of $2,500 ($1,500 for Walkers 10-16 years old). The purpose of a team is to provide support to reach fundraising goals and also build camaraderie. 

Multiple Sclerosis

What is multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and it stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. 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. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.5 million worldwide.


What is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's mission?

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS. Last year alone, we devoted over $136 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. The Society also invested over $50 million to support 440 research projects around the world. We are people who want to do something about MS NOW. For more information about multiple sclerosis and the National MS Society, please visit www.nationalmssociety.org/