You are invited to join The MS Great 8 2016 Tour, Southern Blend, taking us from Hilton Head to Daytona Beach for our annual Fundraiser & Public Awareness Tour. Your host, The MS Great 8 Foundation, along with Destination Cycling, has planned six amazing days of cycling over the various roads of the country’s beautiful southeast coastal region culminating with our participation in the Daytona Beach MS150.
Our week begins with your arrival in Hilton Head on Monday, October 17th where you’ll join us for the Southern Blend kickoff dinner and reception. Tuesday, our journey begins from the beach at this jewel of the south where we will cycle south to arrive at Daytona Beach four days later. Then its time to refuel and rest-up for the Daytona Beach MS150 taking place over the last two days……. NICE!
The MSGr8 Tour is an annual charitable cycling event that has been produced by Destination Cycling in conjunction with the Foundation for the past five years. Its mission has continually been to fight Multiple Sclerosis by supporting the National MS Society, raising public awareness of MS in America today, and inspiring those living with MS to not let it stop them from living their lives’ passions & dreams. Previous tours led riders on the roads from D.C to Boston, Massachusetts to the White House, from Maine to Times Square, and around Lake Ontario. In 2014, MSGr8 cyclists battled the southerly headwinds as they rode the coast from Va. Beach to Myrtle Beach.
The National MS Society is a non-profit organization that provides research funding as well as everyday support to the MS Community all across the country. The NMSS has helped thousands of people living with MS maintain a sense of control and independence while educating and advocating for their ever-changing and somewhat uncertain life that awaits them. You are welcome to learn more about this incredible organization by visiting their website at www.nmss.org.
With the three-point mission of raising funds for the MS Society, raising public awareness, and inspiring those living with MS always within our focus, we have had two different approaches to our cycling events to date. Our first four years involved us riding in 8 different MS150s in 8 states over 8 months. This approach was successful as we met people from across the country (both with and without MS), spread the word about “not letting MS stop you”, and raised strong dollars for various chapters of the MS Society across the country.
We then migrated to a destination concept, which as most of you know, took place annually over the course of 8 days pedaling 400 to 500 miles. This was also a successful model with regards to our mission statement but depending on the geographic region was limited at times from public awareness and media exposure as well as local MS resources and support. It is important to note that no matter what differences we encountered over these these last ten years, our riders were successful in raising nearly $1.3 million dollars for the MS Society. We are so proud of each and every one of you who participated and helped to make this happen!
Experiencing great accomplishments while participating in all of our tours since 2006, we sat back and “wished we could form some type hybrid” and blend these two different approaches together…..and SO, that’s just what we did!
Announcing MSGr8 2016 - Southern Blend
This coming October, The MS Great 8 will set out from Hilton Head, South Carolina cycling the coast down to Daytona Beach Florida for the first part of our tour. The next two days of cycling will have us riding as part of the Daytona Beach MS150. This 175 mile MS Society based ride will include a post-ride meal and reception for nearly 2,000 people at the Hilton Village on the Beach at Daytona where we will be able to “spread the love of the MSGr8”, join others as they battle shoulder-to-shoulder with us against this dreaded disease, and hopefully inspire people living w MS and their families as we let them know that they’re not alone.
The Southern Blend is scheduled for October 17th to October 24th 2016. Monday the 17th and Monday the 24th are our travel days with Tuesday thru Sunday being our cycling days. We will be pedaling for six days straight for somewhere between 450 and 500 miles (mileage may vary until the routes are finalized over the next few months). Hopefully, well have winds to our back and sun in our faces as we all hit the road together.
For our 2016 tour, up to 20 fundraising riders are expected to join us down south in October. With ride leaders, support people and guests the total group is predicted to number between 27 and 30 people and will include several riders with MS. This year we are also putting new fundraising requirements in place as well. The 2016 ride will take place near the end of the 2016 MS “cycling season”. This will allow all of you to maximize your fundraising efforts as well as get into the best shape possible to be the “best you can be” in sunny Florida/ Given a full year of fundraising for the NMSS with all the MS150s out there to use as training and fundraising tools, The MSGr8 will be asking you to “raise the bar” as we also raise the minimum fundraising amount to $8,000. The $1,000 registration fee remains unchanged. For those of you who, for no matter how hard you try, can’t reach this minimum fundraising amount, we will also offer the option of a $5,000 minimum with a $1,300 registration fee.
We are sending you this announcement as an invitation to join the MS Great 8 Foundation in what will be a week of riding through some of the most spectacular terrain in the country with an awesome group of people. So join us as we escape and get ready to “kick butt” one more time before the weather changes and the holidays settle in.
Your Registration form is also attached to the same email that contains this invitation. Please register now in order to secure your place in this wonderful as well as challenging event. The $1,000/1,300 registration fee, due in April 2015, will be payable by check or credit card and may be paid in 3 monthly installments, beginning April 2015.
With revenue from sponsors on the decline, registration fees received from fundraising riders as well as direct donations received by the MSGr8 allow us to cover the event expenses and ensure that your donations will go directly to the National MS Society.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you will be joining us for what promises to be a most memorable event.