Take Your Mark, Get Set, Go!, by Donna Brown

The race is on! The race to help raise funds for ACB has already begun. Participating in the third annual ACB walk/run is a simple and fun way to not only benefit your physical well-being but also to show your support for ACB.

If you have already signed up for the walk/run, thank you. You have gotten off to a fast start, and you are leading the rest of the field! If you have not signed up yet, it's not too late. You can join the race by registering now as an individual or a team by using one of the following two methods. You may register online at www.acbwalk.com or you may contact either Rebecca Bridges at (703) 527-1175 or Donna Brown at (304) 822-4679 for assistance. Any entry forms or pledge forms completed in hard copy format must be attached to a check which should be made out to ACB Walk and mailed to American Council of the Blind, 6300 Shingle Creek Pkwy., Suite 195, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. After signing up, you will receive a packet containing very beneficial suggestions for ways to seek pledges.

In order to keep going in a long, important race such as this, a participant needs to be motivated. Seeking and receiving pledges will do just that, and it's easy and fun. A method for seeking pledges that has been proven to be rather effective is to send an e-mail message containing information about the walk/run and your request for pledges to everyone in your address book. If using a computer is not an option for you, making phone calls to everyone you know has also worked very well. For this leg of the race, there are various ways a participant can win prizes and earn recognition for their hard work. Medals will be awarded as follows: bronze for pledges totaling $100 to $250; silver for $251 to $500; and gold for $500 or more. Trophies will be presented to all individuals/teams raising $1,000 or more. For every $100 in pledges raised by an individual or a team, their name will be entered into a drawing for exciting prizes. In order to celebrate ACB's 50th anniversary, every individual or team who acquires a total of 50 or more pledges will also have their name entered into a special drawing. Like last year, trophies will be given to the individual/team and the affiliate that brings in the most money.

The third and final leg of this race is the actual walk/run event. The third annual walk/run will take place on Sunday, July 10, at the Marina in Reno/Sparks, Nev. Buses will depart at 6:30 a.m. and return between 9 and 9:30 a.m. If you are unable to attend the conference and convention or you choose not to walk in Reno, you can sign up as a virtual walker. You can either walk back home in your own community, or you may wish to support the walk/run by gathering pledges from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.

On behalf of the ACB Walk committee, I encourage you to lace up your sneakers and seek pledges to support ACB. Get your fingers limbered up, and begin racing them across the telephone keypad or the computer keyboard to seek pledges from everyone you know, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, businesses, etc. If these two methods don't appeal to you, a face-to-face approach is also effective. Remember, as was printed in the April "Braille Forum," we are "Striding for the Gold in the Silver State." Let's see if we can have a golden number of participants with a golden number of pledges by June 30, the deadline for turning in pledges to have them count toward awards and drawings.