That is how much money we have raised for this year's Walk MS fundraiser! How amazing is that?! (And the number is still going up as fundraising does not end until the end of September. If anyone's interested in donating, you can do so here; we would greatly appreciate it!)
For those who do not know, my husband Alessandro was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007 at the age of 24. In 2009, we began participating in Walk MS, which is one of the biggest fundraising events put on by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In our first year, "Team Alessandro" raised over $4,000! In 2010, we raised over $6,700! And this year, we are slowly but surely working our way toward our goal of $10,000! I cannot tell you how proud I am of these numbers! The money raised through this fundraiser goes toward funding national research, advocacy programs and public and professional education.
This year's Walk turned out to be one of the best yet. The Walk was on Saturday, May 7th at Comerica Park. We woke up that morning and saw nothing but blue skies and shinning sun.
That was a pleasant sight considering last year's walk was gray, cold, windy and wet! (See our rain ponchos and winter gear below).
But this year was very different! It was sunny, mid 50s and calm. (See shades, short sleeves and sun below).
Team Alessandro consisted of our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, and our BFFs. Alessandro had a few friends come in from Grand Rapids, and even all the way from Memphis! Unfortunately, one of my sisters and her family was unable to come because they all had a stomach bug. But there is always next year!
This year was also special because it was the first year that Alessandro was able to accompany us on the walking route. In the previous years, he was unable to come along for the 3 mile walk because that pesky MS keeps holding him back. In the past, he has had to sit at the starting line and wait for us to return. He especially hated doing that last year when he was by himself (his grandparents sat with him the first year) and he was FREEZING! But this year, Tara and I pushed him along the route in the handy dandy wheelchair we recently acquired.
As much as he says differently, he really does love my driving abilities in that thing!
After the Walk was over, we had Team Alessandro over at our place for eats and drinks. We had botanas (which is different than nachos people), pasta salad, fruit, veggies, bruschetta, cookies and brownies. It was great having everyone over and being able to relax and enjoy all of the hard work leading up to the day.
Alessandro and Tara took relaxation to a whole new level after everyone left.
And Tara worked on her tan.
Alessandro and I would really like to thank everyone for all that they did to make this such a successful fundraising year. We really do have great friends and wonderful family that we're so thankful for.
We look forward to next year when we can hopefully out-do ourselves once again!