20 January 2011

Hot off the Press!

NOTE: This year's fund-raising has concluded. A new donation page (and snowflake pattern booklet!) will be available in about December.

pedaling up Horsetooth in 2010

5 NOV 2013 UPDATE: I'm now registered for the 2014 ride. My new fund-raising page is located here.

***

I recently finished putting together a booklet of the most popular snowflake patterns on this website, and after a couple of weeks, I finally received the correct link to join my team for this year's MS-150 (now called BikeMS). Then I decided to hold off on releasing the booklet until The Lizard registered, hoping to help his fundraising efforts as well my own.

2009 MS-150 MedalI got to register early because I'm a Premium Pedaler, which means I raised in excess of $1,000 last year. My dear, sweet husband does not design patterns (yet!), and he doesn't have access to the wide variety of potential donors I do, so he has never been a Premium Pedaler and has sometimes had to donate money of his own when he has been unable to raise the required amount. Now both of us are registered, and we must each raise $400, although my personal goal is $2,000.

I began riding the MS-150 about ten years ago because a very close friend of mine invited me. I had no idea her sister was battling MS. By the time that first ride was over, I'd learned I work with two people who have MS, two people I work with have relatives with MS, and three more friends have relatives with MS. That was nearly a decade ago. Since then, I've found out about even more people in my circle who are afflicted with this disease, and now I'm married to someone who has two relatives with MS. Colorado has the highest incidence of MS in the country, and that's why I ride.

Team Great-West members relaxing after 2010 Day 1Yes, I love to ride. I love the hilly challenge of riding 75 miles a day twice in a row, back to back. I love meeting the volunteers (many of whom have MS), I love my team (Team Great-West; Great-West Life sponsors the Colorado ride), and I love meeting other cyclists who put as much effort into raising as much money as they can as I do. It's exhilarating knowing so many people care about something so important. And then I get to the finish line and find out some of those people who were riding right alongside me have MS, too, and they don't know how many more rides they'll be able to do.

That's why I ride.

The MS-150 is open to the first 2,500 people who sign up. The only requirement is to raise $400 by the first day of the ride. Because the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society depends primarily on donations to be able to serve the vast number of people affected by MS, there are numerous incentives to encourage people like me to raise more than just the basic $400. Businesses donate merchandise, bike tune-ups and other services that are then given as prizes to top donation collectors.

top team blue roomThe best prize, in my opinion, is being named a High Roller, which means raising $2,000. Those who achieve this don't have to wait in line at the portable toilets at rest stops. One stall is always reserved for the High Rollers. If you could see the line at some of the rest stops, you'd understand why that's always a goal of mine. One stall also is reserved at each stop for the team that raises the most money, which for the last couple of years has been the RawHinies. Some teams have most unusual names! Ain't Too Proud to Sag, Purple Steep Hill Eaters, Saddle Soar, Some Nerve, Are We There Yet?, Penguin Roadkill...

Humor aside, the MS-150 is where a big chunk of my heart lives. And sometimes where my heart breaks the most. To see a volunteer in a wheelchair who wasn't in one the year before...

My First Snowflake Pattern BookletSo, in an effort to try to raise as much money as I can to help put an end to this disease, I've put together my top 20 snowflake patterns (according to Google Analytics), two brand new, never-before-published patterns, the Rainbows of Hope scarf pattern I designed to raise money last year and the Plarn Snowman pattern (because we all have way too many white plastic grocery bags, and the snowman is a great way to get rid of them). The PDF booklet is formatted to be spiral bound or three-ring hole punched on the left side.

To receive a PDF copy of this booklet via email, please make a tax-deductible contribution in my name or in The Lizard's name, and make sure we have a way to contact you so we can send you the booklet. (The NMSS sends riders an email each time a donation is made in their name, and if the donor has left a valid email address, it will be available via a secure site so donors may be properly thanked. The NMSS does not sell email addresses and does not tolerate spam.)

The Lizard typically does not have access to a computer during the day but checks his email each night, so when you donate in his name, you may not immediately receive your booklet, but you should receive it by the following day. We typically do not have internet access on weekends if we're out taking photos, hiking, cross-country skiing or training for bicycle rides, so if you donate on a weekend, you may not hear from us until the following Monday, but you will hear from us as soon as we are able to respond. My email address is snowcatcher at att dot net if you have any problems receiving your booklet.

Thank you for your interest in making life better for those who have multiple sclerosis!


inspirational

25 comments:

  1. Wow, that is awesome. I know what you mean about the porto-potties... I never had to use one in a race but the idea is just... ICK. (Frankly, I've never even raced, just "volunteered" in a few.)

    Out of curiosity, when is the race?

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  2. Hi, Yulian! It's just a ride, not a race... I can't race; I'm too slow! And it will be the end of June.

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  3. I am so in ... made a donation. We must get you to that $2,000 High Roller status for the potty access!!!

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  4. At the risk of tearing up, because for some reason this cause so near and dear to me tends to elicit that reaction, I will very happily donate to your husband to help him meet his goal. Please please make sure to include another please a little later one as funds are tight due to a brand new house right now :D

    Oh, and as for the top fundraising team, someone I've never met but consider to be a friend is actually on that team :D

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  5. great project. I have friends who do it here in PA. Best of luck.

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  6. Absolutely wonderful! I cannot remember if I told you but my cousin was diagnosed with MS before he was 20, he's 33 now and in a wheelchair and unable to do the computer work he thought he was choosing as a wise career. :( It's tough, he got divorced and moved back in the his parents.

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  7. I am in Kuwait, working with displaced domestic workers (women). There is one woman there that can knit and crochet most anything. Thought the snowflakes would be good fundraiser items for the women to sell. Your cause is also wonderful so I made a donation. Would love the pdf of the snowflake patterns. best wishes, maryanne

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  8. Hi is it too late to donate? Can you raise funds for next time? Please let me know.

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  9. Hi, Hooks. What a great name! No, it is not too late. My fundraising page will be live until about the middle of December, and when I register for next year's ride, the NMSS will set up a new page for each of the riders so they can start all over again.

    Several people have asked if I'm going to do this again next year. Response has been so awesome, I am planning a repeat next year, and I'm working on a whole new booklet with new patterns and more already published favorites.

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  10. Hi! I know the race already happened, but since your donation pages are still live I donated to your husband's account. I included my email in the donation page but not in the note, please let me know if you need me to send it separately. Seeing your pictures makes me want to start training again! My husband and I were up to 10k running (ahem...jogging :-) ) races just before we got married, but life and injury got in the way and then two gorgeous kids came along and...well, you know how it goes :) I'm looking forward to using your snowflake patterns to make gifts for my family for Christmas.

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  11. is it possible to donate via paypal?

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  12. Thanks, Victoria!

    Hi, Meg. So far, I have been unable to get any answer from the NMSS if they will accept Paypal, and I don't see that as an option anywhere. I'm going to send you an email.

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  13. I just donated to your husband's account, since he seemed to be lagging behind because, as you said, he has no snowflake PDF to offer :). I enjoy your blog (though I mostly view through a reader, so visiting today was the first time I noticed the PDF - what a great way to raise money for your charity of choice!

    Also, thanks for your kind words on my blog today!

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  14. Are you still raising money for your ride?

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  15. Thanks, Marie! I'll have you know you made my husband smile! Thank you!

    Sarah, yes, we both are still trying to raise money for MS until about the middle of December or so, when they will want to close out their books. And then I will have a new book with new patterns for next year as soon as they open up our new donor pages.

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  16. My name is Ashley Rose Johnson and I am a beginner to Making snow flakes and I was wondering how I can get an example book for snowflakes I really like the ones you have made and I am a low income person and I am making snowflakes for a bazaar this weekend and was wondering how you could help with getting an example practice book free!

    thanks!
    Ashley Rose Johnson crafter!

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  17. Hi, Ashley. If you can, get on YouTube and search for a crocheted snowflake tutorial. A guy named Mike filmed the process of making one of my snowflakes, and he goes through it step by step. I hope that helps. Good luck!

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  18. You are without a doubt a wonderful, generous person for having displayed your beautiful snowflake patterns free of charge. I really enjoyed your blog entry related to the Torrey's Peak Snowflake of 9/26/11. I will keep looking out for your new snowflake book in January or Februrary.

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  19. OK, so I just discovered your snowflakes about a month ago (I emailed you about the magic circle.) I'd really like to get the PDF of your patterns, but the fundraiser is over. Is there anyway to send you a donation to put toward next year's fundraiser and still get this PDF?

    Thanks!
    Sarah

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  20. I have the same question as sarahsanford above me. I'm perfectly willing to donate 2x. Maybe one for you and one for Lizard in 2012. I'm just so bummed that i didn't find this until after the 2011 fundraising had closed!

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  21. Hi, Sarah and Charlie Ann, and I apologize for being so tardy in responding. Our 2012 donation pages are up and working now; current links are in the sidebar. I am still sending out the 2011 booklet to those who didn't receive it last year, and the new booklet will be ready soon. I'm aiming for February 6. I'll announce it in that day's Snowflake Monday if it's done. I'm very hopeful right now because I just finished writing up the Little Bear Peak Snowflake, which, yes, does indeed feature a tiny bear!!!!

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  22. Hi,
    Thanks for another year of fantastic snowflakes and inspiring photography. I don't know how you find the time to do all that you do. Would you be able to accept a Paypal donation to save me using my husband's credit card? No problem if you can't he's very generous but I'd rather do it myself if possible.
    Regards,
    Marlene (UK)

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  23. Ok. NOW you made me cry! Keep up the great work,both for MS and for crocheters everwhere! Look for me to be donating to your work!RIDE ON FOR MS!!!

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  24. If I want both booklets, can I get them? I would be happy to make a donation to each or two donations to one.

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  25. Hi, Deanne

    One donation is sufficient. I've been sending both booklets to everyone who donates if they didn't receive last year's. Thanks!

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