One of the most effective and engaging fundraising strategies the National Multiple Sclerosis Society organizes annually is the Bike MS series. Several times a year, in different locations throughout the country, thousands of MS patients from all over the world, as well as friends, family, and advocacy supporters come together to support the fight against multiple sclerosis and show their love of biking.
Last month, the NMSS held the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride in New Jersey, on September 27 to 28. It covered 160 miles, starting from Cherry Hill and ending in Ocean City. Multi-billion dollar global ICT services and solutions provider Dimension Data announced just last week that it was able to raise over $130,000 for the society at that event. This brings the company’s total NMSS contributions to $300,000 from regularly participating in Bike MS events for the last 5 years. Their commitment to the cause is part of the company’s Heads, Hearts and Hands corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, which is active in over 500 charitable initiatives across 3 areas of social concern: environmental issues, social issues, and ethics and governance.
The company was represented by 130 company riders and 32 volunteers, along with their friends and family. Dimension Data Americas CEO, Mark Slaga, commented that the company is pleased they were able to exceed their fundraising goal this year, which is the second largest amount raised by a corporation for the NMSS. He went on to note that the company values community involvement and philanthropy, and continuously encourages its employees to get involved and give back.
Dimension Data is an active supporter of the NMSS, City Year, Habitat for Humanity, and the Ronald McDonald House. Under its CSR program, all company employees are entitled to 8 hours of paid time off annually to do volunteer work for any charity of their choice. Those interested in participating in a future Bike MS ride may visit www.bikems.org to find out how to get involved.
Several pharmaceutical companies are also active supporters of multiple sclerosis. An example is Boston-based Genzyme Corporation, who has made Revenge star Madeleine Stowe the face of one of their leading products, Aubagio®. Another is Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, who is represented by singer David Osmond for novel oral MS drug Gilenya®.