MS Society Canada Raising Millions With Rappel Gear, Office Tower

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by Mary Chapman |

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In an unusual challenge, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is raising millions to promote multiple sclerosis (MS) research in that country by having supporters rappel off the roof of a downtown Toronto office building.

More than 145 individuals across at least 36 teams are expected to participate in the MS Million Dollar Tower Challenge at 700 University Ave. on May 9 to 11. As of May 2, the challenge had already met its initial CA$4 million (about $3.14 million) goal, and donations are still being accepted. Visit this site to financially support the event.

Proceeds will go to Acts of Greatness, a society campaign to raise CA$75 million to support MS research, heighten disease awareness and understanding, and empower patients that is now in its third year.

“You read that right!  We are rappelling off 700 University in support of the MS Society of Canada,” the challenge’s webpage states. “Take the leap for MS.”

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The fundraising challenge is sponsored by the private equity real estate investment firm KingSett Capital to mark its 20th anniversary. Employees of the company, which owns the building involved in the fundraiser, will participate in the rappelling.

“I am thrilled by the tremendous support the MS Million Dollar Challenge has received from our friends, colleagues, business partners, and members of the MS community,” Jon Love, KingSett Capital’s CEO, said in a press release.

“Like many others across Canada, this is a personal cause for my family. Our son Jason was diagnosed with MS 11 years ago,” Love said. “While he is doing well, the experience focused out family’s attention on fighting this disease, which impacts more Canadians per capital than anywhere else in the world. I will proudly be one of the first off the side of 700 University in May.”

One Axe Pursuits, an Ontario company specializing in team athletic challenges that include rappelling, will guide each participant and offer a short training session.

Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of MS, with an average of 12 residents diagnosed with this progressive neurodegenerative disease daily.

“Thanks to the generous support of KingSett, all proceeds from the MS Million Dollar Tower Challenge will go directly to accelerating research and enhancing the quality of life of those affected by MS,” said David White, vice president of philanthropy, MS Society of Canada. “Based on the incredible support we’ve received so far, I am confident it will move us closer to finding a cure for this complex and unpredictable disease.”

The MS Society works to inform and support to people affected by MS, advocate on their behalf, and funds research into the disease and its treatments.

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