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Team Jersey Shore in southern California?

“You bet,” says Walk MS team captain Joe Grubbs. It reminds him of where he grew up and the close friends who have remained by his side since being diagnosed with MS five years ago.

Joe describes himself as a competitor, and that's likely true of his friends, too. While Joe keeps the walk team to about 25 participants, each person actively raise funds for MS research through their networks of friends, colleagues and businesses.

"The first walk I did was 5 years ago, soon after my diagnosis, and we had about 15 walkers," said Joe. "While the team has grown to 25, we concentrate more on raising money."

Everyone does their share. The first year, the team concentrated on sending emails, and posting to Twitter and Facebook, and raised $16,000.


Now they've raised the bar by approaching local businesses where they can hold parties, with 10% of the evening's sales going to the MS Society.

The team also sells raffle tickets at $20 each for a chance to win donated prizes. This year, they are throwing a big fundraiser at a nightclub in Los Angeles, with the owner donating $20 for every person who walks through the door. Celebrities will walk an orange carpet, sponsors will be brought in, and a local news team will cover the event.

In 2014, Team Jersey Shore raised $32,000. The team goal for 2015 is $40,000, with $25,000 raised just for the Walk MS event.

Joe says the secret to successful fundraising is to work with people who care about you and want to help, because that way it becomes a passion about pitching in and working hard for a cause.

"Everyone has connections, and you want people on your team who are willing to reach out," said Joe. "I give Team Jersey Shore all the credit for our success."



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