Meet The Organizer: Rachael Bubbs, Bootcamp To Fight MS
When it comes to setting a goal and achieving it, there is no stopping Rachael Bubbs. What started out as walkMS to support her sister-in-law who has MS turned into nearly $60,000 in donations raised for bikeMS and an award as a National Champion in the New England Chapter.
We emailed Rachael to discuss her riding team, Team Velox Rota, her upcoming event, Bootcamp to Fight MS, and her advice for like-minded, passionate organizers looking to plan their own fundraising events.
Ticketbud: How did you come to be involved with Team Velox Rota and the events and rides they host and participate in?
Rachael Bubbs: TVR participates in bikeMS rides. The largest ride – the Cape Cod Getaway – has a Facebook page, and I posted in that page when I decided to register for my first bikeMS - 150 mile ride for my sister-in-law who has MS. Michael Augustine, team founder and captain, recruited me to join the team. This is now my 4th year on TVR, and I am now the "branch" captain for Connecticut.
TB: What are some your favorite parts/experiences of being on the team?
RB: The fun, the Cape Cod Getaway and ferry ride home. Different fundraisers. The similarities that we all share as a team. The new friends I’ve made.
TB: You are also very active in the fight against MS outside of the team too. Tell us a little more about your personal goals and experiences in the fight against MS.
RB: They are one in the same for me. My sister-in-law has MS, and as a family we used to do the walk in NYC. I wanted to take it a bit further for myself personally and registered for the ride. Team Velox Rota is just as important to the entire picture for me. I have an amazing support system with TVR, in Michael and Melissa McEvoy, and so many others. I’ve been the top fundraiser on the team since my first year back in 2011, and in the top 100 in Greater New England chapter. Last year, 2013, I was awarded as a National Champion in the New England Chapter – as 7th top fundraiser! So far I have raised almost $60k in the last 3 ½ years for MS.
TB: In addition to being a rider you are also the event organizer for the BootCamp to Fight MS. What has organizing that event been like? What tips and tricks have you learned from planning, managing and executing an event like this?
RB: I had my own business in event planning for 7 years, so I had a hand up. Many TVR members come to me to help setting up fundraisers or giving them ideas. I have had a lot of help preparing for the event with my mom, who is my right hand in fundraising. I’m very lucky in many regards to have the extra hands and support, but when it comes to family, family comes first! Because I do have an abundance amount of direct personal feelings invested into this event, much of it has been a breeze from friends support and almost 95% of everything being donated to me. I’ve had to stay on top of some vendors and those helping to put on the event, but no more than would be normal for any event!
TB: We often talk to organizers who think organizing their own event is too daunting of a task. What advice would you offer to others interested but reluctant to host their own fundraiser for their cause?
RB: There should be no thoughts or feeling about your own event being too daunting of a task. Don’t ever feel reluctant to put it on. If you do, then don’t invest your time. It does take a good deal of patience and persistence. But if you want to be successful and have the joy of doing for others, take on the challenge at full speed and don’t look back! It is quite rewarding at the end!
About the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society
The Greater New England Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.