The weather is warming up and local nonprofit organizations are preparing to host their annual fundraisers, and they want you to come out and join them.
The Step It Out Against MS team and the annual Walk to End Lupus Now will work to raise money for local organizations focused on helping individuals in the area with the diseases and for research to help find a cure.
‘Step It Out Against MS’
Walk MS: Charlotte will take place on May 18, a Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with same day registration. The walk will take place at SouthPark Mall, 4400 Sharon Road in Charlotte, and organizers hope to raise $200,000 during the event. To help them reach that goal Ben Stepowany and his family are gearing up to raise as much money through as many events as they can – which includes hosting a pre-walk fundraiser in Mint Hill.
The Stepowany family began working to raise money for multiple sclerosis in honor of their mother, Therese, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990. Through many different events and fundraisers over the last eight years the family has raised about $250,000 for multiple sclerosis organizations, including Walk MS.
“It’s more important to spread awareness more than anything, and the main goal, of course, is to raise money for the local MS group,” Ben Stepowany said. “They help those in the area and give money to research.”
But before taking to the track, the family will host their own golf tournament to raise money for their walk team on April 20, a Saturday, at the Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation, 7500 Olde Sycamore Drive, in Mint Hill. Registration and signups begin at 11:30 a.m. the day of the event with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. It costs $100 per golfer to enter the tournament, which includes a golf cart, dinner and a gift bag.
Organizers expect to see about 80 golfers and spots are still available. This year the family hopes to raise $10,000 during the golf tournament.
To register for Walk MS or for more information go to www.walkncp.nationalmssociety.org/.
For more information about the Step It Out Against MS Golf Tournament go to www.stepitoutagainstms.com/golf
‘Walk To End Lupus Now’
The annual Walk To End Lupus Now will take place on April 28, a Saturday, at Central Piedmont Community College in uptown Charlotte, 1201 Elizabeth Ave., beginning with registration at 1 p.m.
There is no registration cost for the event, but to qualify for prizes that are being given away each participant must raise a minimum of $100. Last year, the Lupus Foundation of America’s Charlotte event raised $112,000 and this year organizers have set a goal of $125,000. Several volunteers for the event hail from Matthews.
“For us the walk kind of embodies two big pieces,” said Christine John-Fuller, the president of the North Carolina chapter. “One it’s our national signature event where we can rally public support for the disease and the lupus community. … The second piece of the puzzle is that we are locally funded so this event helps us to be able to support national research and helps us raise the money we use here locally.”
During the event, the foundation will have free entertainment and food available for purchase. For John-Fuller, the goal is to raise awareness and have fun with their families.
“It’s a really, really fun event. The two main things we make sure is that people have fun and enjoy themselves,” she said.
And although the walk is a one-day event, teams and walkers can continue to raise money and win prizes for a month following the Walk To End Lupus Now.
For more information or to
register for the walk go to www.lupusnc.org.