Fundraising for the UK Coast2Coast Walk was as important as doing the walk. For insight into what motivated this wonderful bunch of women, please see Bruce Stephen’s exceptional video here. Our fundraising activities concentrated on raising community awareness about Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and vital funds for continued research.
Each walker was set a target of A$10,000. They took on the challenge and never looked back. Sausage sizzles, cake stalls, MuSic in the vineyards, the Enormous Horns Ball, Ab Fab dance nights, movie nights, wine tastings, trivia. You name it. WE DID IT while having a whole lot of FUN.
Who raised funds with me?
The original five from the Mudgee2Sydney walk signed up without hesitation and convinced more of their friends to join us. The MS community with whom we had tirelessly worked for over several years had eight participants, two walking with MS, and others with other autoimmune diseases or those prepared to tackle a walk possibly beyond their skill level.
Here we are embracing the ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS’ campaign run by MS Research Australia (MSRA).
For insight into what motivated this wonderful bunch of women, please see the exceptional pro bono video created by Bruce Stephens here which details our individual reasons for doing the walk and how much fun we had on our fundraising journey to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
I cannot recall the number of sausages Allan Waldon’s Eastern Road Quality Meats in Turramurra donated to our cause. We raised several thousand dollars from Sausage Sizzles hosted before the event.
And our walkers in the country hosted a fabulous MuSic in the Vineyards Lunch at Mortimers Wines in Orange, New South Wales.
It involved much preparation and participation to guarantee the success of this event, ably hosted by walkers Jacquie Christopherson and Bron Dowling. Here we are lifting, Debbie Bird, one of two walkers who joined us on the Coast2Coast walk with MS. Other walkers had Coeliac, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s Disease, and type 1 Diabetes, but they never let these impediments stop them from completing the walk.
We had countless cake stalls outside Bunnings Warehouses and our local Coles Supermarkets.
Sometimes we had to do things we were not too keen on, but we took every opportunity to spread our message and raise more funds for the cause. Go, Liz! You have got this slippery creature.
And there were balls, dances, and movie nights too!
What did I learn?
People’s generosity, when faced with their own challenges, was humbling.
We loved having family help us with our fundraising.
Even our beloved pooches got in on the act.
Helping the walkers reach their individual fundraising target of A$10,000 and navigate them safely across England from St Bees on the West coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the East coast became the least of my worries. Many of the girls had never attempted such a challenging walk, but they came on board. They just needed encouragement.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching women, including myself, learn new skills, overcome our fears, and build self-confidence and self-belief in our ability to complete the 303km Wainwright’s Coast2Coast walk. I am indebted to my husband, Mike Hemingway, for his overwhelming support, admire how he copes with his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis and continues to work towards finding a cure to this debilitating disease.
With the walkers fully engaging in the fundraising activities to help and improve the quality of other people’s lives, I knew I would be walking with a terrific team.
The walkers and my support crew, Mike, deserved the accolades we received when we returned to Australia with $230,000 to donate to MS Research Australia to aid further research into finding a cure.