At Wescott, we are beyond proud to have a team that continuously exemplifies one of our core beliefs– that we all have the power to make a difference. They are unwavering in their dedication to share their time and expertise with charitable groups that support communities at both a local and a national level.
As a Certified B Corporation® and a 2021 Best for the World honoree, Wescott is committed to nurturing our team members’ desire to serve these communities and charities with both passion and purpose. To honor that commitment, our organization has developed a dedicated Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program. This program gives every team member paid time off so they have the ability to devote more time to the organizations that mean the most to them personally.
One such organization that has garnered the fidelity of Wescott Controller, Dan Wick, is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and their largest fundraiser, Bike MS. Recently, Wick shared why he has been involved with Bike MS for more than 15 years, the importance of bringing awareness to this devastating disease and why it is important for businesses and leaders to step up and support nonprofits in the community.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Bike MS
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s vision is clear: a world free of MS. According to their research, nearly 1 million American’s over the age of 18 are living with a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. A debilitating disease characterized by chronic pain, fatigue, loss of vision and impaired coordination, there is no known cure and those affected with the condition often face difficult treatments including chemotherapy to slow progression.
Bike MS is their largest fundraising bike series in the world and supports their core work, which is being the largest public funder of MS research globally. It also provides services to connect people living with MS with the care they need to live full lives. Here in the greater Philadelphia area, the annual event is traditionally a 150-mile city-to-shore bike ride. Even in 2020, as the country grappled with COVID-19, the ride went virtual. Thousands of riders across the region embarked on socially-distanced bike rides of varying lengths to raise critically needed funds to provide support for men and women who are courageously battling MS. During this time, a small group of Wescott team members, led by Wick, participated in a socially distanced ride. In 2021, the Wescott bike team returned with a vengeance to complete the ride in person. Over the past four years of participation, the team has proudly raised nearly $19,000 for the cause.
Good Health is Among the Greatest Gifts We Can Be Given
“I witnessed first-hand how challenging MS can be when one of my cousins was diagnosed. Their resilience and strength in the face of adversity is what compelled me to first participate in the event 15 years ago,” shared Dan Wick. Not only is the event a great way to raise critically needed funds, it also provides a supportive community for those with MS, caretakers and concerned community. In previous years when social distancing wasn’t a concern, the event includes a finish-line celebration and rest stops along the way staffed by volunteers from the National MS Society. “In times of challenge, we often hear ‘we are in this together’ and Bike MS truly embodies this sentiment. It’s a community several thousand deep coming together to bring hope to people valiantly fighting this disease,” said Dan.
Now more than ever, nonprofits need your support. COVID-19 left many nonprofits, including the National MS Society, without their traditional fundraising channels. But the needs within communities and the services that nonprofits provide have remained the same, or grown. While Bike MS looked different in 2020 to allow for social distancing, the outcome will remain the same: to raise as much funding as possible that will provide critical services to people facing MS. “For those individuals and businesses who are able to give, it is important to keep in mind that all nonprofits need support, not just those providing direct COVID relief,” said Dan.
Together, we can make a difference. “I got involved with Bike MS because it was an opportunity to make a difference and I firmly believe that, together, we can alleviate the suffering of people living with MS. Whether you sign up to bike in person or you donate to support those who are biking, every little bit counts and goes a long way,” said Dan. “At Wescott, we are all encouraged and empowered to make the community stronger and help our neighbors realize their full potential. We have a dedicated Volunteer Time Off (VTO) Program that supports the Wescott Team with their charitable endeavors. I’m proud to represent Wescott in Bike MS and encourage everyone to learn more about the event and the cause.”
To learn more about Bike MS, visit their website.