First and foremost, a heartfelt thank you to the entire MS community and the broader Australian public for your superb participation in, and support of, The May 50K. Thanks to your fundraising efforts, and all your heroic walking, running, rowing, rolling, cycling, skipping – to name but a few – we have not only made our target, but exceeded it, by raising $5.2 million for world-class and life-changing research into MS.
There has been tremendous support from individuals – some 28,600 signed up to participate, along with 498 workplaces taking part in the challenge. I was able to visit a number of workplaces with teams this year and note that there has been fierce competition between them. A big shout out to the teams at Merck ($35,000 raised), Atlassian ($34,000), Australian Clinical Labs ($25,000), Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia ($24,800) and Omni Executive ($24,800). There has also been outstanding individual efforts, both in terms of fundraising and physical challenges completed. They all made my efforts pale by comparison, but I did reach my fundraising target and got my 51km covered over three dedicated runs: two 15km runs and one Half Marathon – a big stretch for me and my arthritic joints. The fact that two of them were done in Canberra’s sub-zero temperatures made it that much more invigorating. A huge thank you also to every participant – no matter how big or small the distance or the amount raised. Because every single dollar raised has helped us reach our target. Every. Single. Dollar. So thank you, one and all.
I also want to profusely thank our small but tireless The May 50K fundraising team so ably led by Tanja Voss. I have been associated with many fundraising activities in the not-for-profit sector over my career, but this has been by far the best, with palpable energy and enthusiasm for the mission – to improve lives of everyone living with MS and to find that cure. I dedicated my The May 50K to my cousin, Claire, who lives with MS. But as I ran through the pain barrier in my Half Marathon, I was also thinking of a young 9-year-old in Perth – Connie – who is living with MS and very graciously lent her support to this year’s The May 50K. Connie, we can’t thank you enough for helping motivate us all, every step of the way. Thank you!
Together, we WILL leave MS where it belongs, behind us.