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2017 Annual Report

TABLE OF CONTENTS Table of Contents


Board of Directors


Letter from the Executive Director


Mission and Purpose




Program Description


MS Run the US 2017 Relay Team


2017 Relay Statistics


Relay Stories and Social Media



Financial Summary


Sponsor/Donor Recognition & Future Plans



Ashley Schneider, Board President Ashley is the founder of MS Run the US and is the current Executive Director. A passion for running combined with a family tie to MS has driven Ashley to utilize her talents to fight for a cure. Ashley received her degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in Exercise and Sport Science. Ashley also owns and operates a fitness and nutrition business to inspire, encourage, and assist others to get active and stay healthy. Ashley is married to Aaron Schneider, they have two children and live near Milwaukee, WI.

Ken Grisback Ken is a VP of Sales and has over 20 years of sales/management experience. In his role he leads a large team of sales consultants, managers, and product specialists. His expertise is a great asset to MS Run the US.

Melanie McLaughlin Melanie McLaughlin is the President of Montel Media Group, LLC, a multimedia company she runs under the Montel Williams brand. As Montel Williams’ manager, Melanie has overseen all aspects of his career and business development activities for the last 19 years.

Bill Sinak Bill was diagnosed with MS in 1993 at the age of 29. Since then, he has been involved with fundraising for the Gateway MS Society via the MS150 Bike tour. Staying healthy has helped him immensely with his physical, mental, and emotional phases of fighting MS. Bill started running at the age of 35 and developed a passion for the sport. He has run over 20 full marathons and an innumerable amount of half marathons and other distance runs. Bill was selected for the 2013 MS Run the US Relay, running a total of 200 miles in 9 days. He attributes the relay as the most amazing adventure he has ever been on.


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LETTER November 7, 2017 Dear All, It's difficult for me to put into words the impact the 2017 year has had on myself personally, and as a result the organization. We began the inception of the 2017 team like any other, except that my husband and myself found out we were pregnant with our second child due sometime in June, right smack dab in the middle of the relay event. This blessing to our family alone would have caused for an interesting year, and Amy and myself immediately began planning how everything would move forward while I cared for a newborn. Not long after the joyous announcement my mother, Jill Kumlien, the inspiration to this entire organization suddenly passed away in her sleep due to secondary symptoms of having MS. It was a shock to our immediate family, as well as to this family we call MS Run the US. In the midst of our fresh sorrow, my father suddenly passed away just 5 short weeks after my mom. To say that I was lost and bewildered by the loss of my parents is an understatement. My deep love for the Relay and the runners that sign up every year were the only reasons I took any steps forward to continue the event for this year. With deep gratitude I saw our organization, both employees and volunteer runners, step forward in big ways to take the weight of what we do off my shoulders while I grieved. MS Run the US is far bigger than just myself and if ever there was an example of that, 2017 would be it. The team kept cadence and marched forward in our mission, not only surpassing the 1-million dollar fundraising mark but also becoming the largest fundraising team to date. I am in awe and filled with admiration towards the individuals that love what we do as much as I do. I am filled with confidence, now more than ever, that with our team, donors, and supporters we will continue to make huge waves that shatter the impact of MS on those diagnosed.


Ashley Schneider Executive Director



Mission MS Run the US, Inc. is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis (MS) research, while also supporting those living with disability due to MS. Our running events focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle while inspiring individuals to maximize their capabilities and become more active to help those in need.

About Us MS Run the US, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Wisconsin native Ashley Schneider (previously Kumlien) of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Inspired by her mother Jill Kumlien – who has lived with MS since 1980 – Ashley created MS Run the US, Inc., a 501(c)3 government approved charitable organization to raise national disease awareness, funds to further MS research, and to help those living with disability due to their MS symptoms. All donation proceeds support research and MS disability programs through The National MS Society.

History rst MS Run the US, Inc transcontinental crossing of America was in 2010. On March 22, 2010 MS Run the US Founder, Ashley Schneider, began her 3,288-mile journey across America – on foot – from San Francisco, CA to New York, NY with only a motor home and one crew member. During her journey, Ashley ran nearly a marathon a day, six days a week, for six months, while fundraising for the MS cause. The event raised thousands of dollars and rallied thousands of supporters around the MS cause. Upon completion, Ashley became the 16th female to ever run across America. During those 6 months, Ashley went through 10 pairs of shoes, burned over 270,000 calories, and sustained an injury total of only two blisters. In 2013, MS Run the US launched our annual Relay run across America for MS. Every year since this inaugural run, the relay across the US has been the signature even for our organization.



Ambassador Program The MS Run the US Ambassador Program is an opportunity for individuals everywhere to achieve their goals while helping to improve the lives of individuals affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Each of our Ambassadors has the unique opportunity to be part of the MS Run the US team, raise funds for our organization and contribute to our mission.

Ultra Relay Team The Relay begins each year mid-April near Los Angeles, CA and finishes mid-August in New York, NY. Our Relay runners are selected via our online application process to participate as an individual segment runner as a part of the Relay team. To participate each runner commits to fundraising $10,000 over ten months and to running approximately 160-miles over 6 consecutive days during his or her assigned Relay segment. There are 18 segments total spanning from LA to New York, thus 18 runners on a Relay team. Once selected each runner spends months training and fundraising prior to the event as they prepare to devote one week on the road with the nonprofit while completing their segment’s miles. Each runner’s segment is logistically coordinated back-toback as a part of the collective team effort to run 3,100-miles over the duration of 4.5 months. Through the generous contributions to our organization from several sponsors, the relay utilizes both an MS Run the US branded RV and Jeep to travel across the country with the team.



Abbie Solberg

Jeremiah Allen

Loren Ollenburger

Amanda Scott

Angela McMurray

Kelli McDonald

Team Chicks With Kicks

Melissa Schmidt

Summer Stout

Anna Perna

Kaitlyn Daughterly

Team Hope 4 Hannah

Deanna Tysdal

Kingston Cole

Peter Halper

Walter Novosel



• Our 2017 team is comprised of 16 runners from 8 different states. States represented are: WI, CO, IA, NE, IL, PA, OH, CA. • We have 3 runners with MS themselves and 7 runners immediately related to someone living with MS. • Collectively we ran 3,108 miles in 119 days, contributing to the organization’s 24,012 miles total run across America for MS. • Dollar raised per mile: $75; a $1 dollar per mile increase from 2016! • Food cost for the team is the equivalent of buying 7,375 bunches of bananas. • Geographically we ran over three mountain ranges (The Sierra Nevada's, The Rocky Mountains & The Appalachians), crossed one desert (The Mojave), and ran through 12 different states. • The highest point of elevation on the route is 10,995 feet during Segment 7 at Loveland Pass in Colorado. • Donations to our mission have supported the inception research and development of the 14 MS drug therapies available, and we have been able to directly affect the lives of 27 individuals through fulfillment of financial aid requests.



At the end of each relay, we have numerous pictures and stories to document another momentous year. Every year we have incredible runners who step up and run segments of the relay. We had two relay runners unable to complete their assigned Relay segment miles alone. We used the legs of willing relay runners to cover the miles needed to keep our team on schedule. We also had a planned Community Segment with Matt Minichillo and Team Hope For Hannah in Ohio running Segment 15 from Fort Wayne, IN to Hudson, OH. The following are stories and statistics from those miles. • 234 - Miles run by substatue runners • 200 - Miles run by Team Hope for Hannah • 7 - Number of runners that stepped up from Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, California, and Colorado to run miles.

Special Thanks To: •

Randy Bourdo at Industrial Vacuum for ongoing monetary support year after year. We appreciate how much you believe in what we do!

Amy VanDyke for putting together the Santa Monica gathering for the start and to honor Jill.

Jen & Brian Rouska in Vernal, UT for always welcoming us with open arms & letting us high-jack your laundry facilities.

Runner's Roost Team for joining Abbie mile after mile during Segment 7.

Team Hope For Hannah for showing us what a solid community segment can be!

Indiana State MS Society Chapter for the welcome event and hotel accommodations.

Southern NYC MS Society Chapter for event promotion, event photos, and volunteer support.



Follow us on social media to stray up to date on our team all year! Follow us on Instagram @msruntheus.





Financial Overview 2017

*A 2014 grant, sponsorship, and major donor gifts in the amount of $103,182 were one time gifts for the purchase of our motor home and crew car and account for the singular year revenue jump. 12


2017 Balance Sheet

2017 Balance Sheet Review Total Assets $ 248,506 Total Liabilities $ 4,616 Net Assets $243,890 *Assets includes property owned by the organization, like the motor home and crew car.

2017 Event Revenue Breakdown



Breakdown of Expenses: Operations and Awareness Campaign

Awareness Initiative - Relay Event Expenses Include: Relay press, media, FB promotion, race partnerships, Road Crew, first aid and recovery supplies, food, lodging, fuel, and insurance. Operation Expenses Include: Monthly fixed costs like internet, data base subscriptions, CPA, salaries, and the like.



Breakdown of Giving: Awareness, Research, and Financial Requests

2017 Giving Breakdown Awareness - The Relay $105,045 Research for a cure $30,000 Financial Aid Fulfilled


% of Total Giving 59% 15% 11%

Financial Aid Available






At the conclusion of our 2016 fundraising year we decided to significantly shift funds donated to research towards future financial aid requests in an effort to have funds immediately available for the increased number of requests coming in from the National MS Society. Because of this shift in 2016, as these requests came in during our 2017 year we were able to say "yes!" to every single request sent our way by NMSS! We are proud to partner with NMSS to help meet the needs of those living with MS right now. As our outreach grows our heart for the mission of funding research for a cure is still greatly prevalent, but our hearts have also grown significantly to help people living with MS right now live better right now. These requests include things like building ramps, buying wheelchairs, funding mobility devices, renovating bathrooms, and enabiling vehicles with disability controls to name a few.




Industrial Vacuum

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Fort Morgan Mustangs


Building another strong relay team for 2018 Creating race partnerships as the benefiting charity Creating a cross-country Community Relay event A thriving and involved Ambassador program Increasing private fund support and corporate sponsorships


MS Run the US, Inc.

PO Box 2273 Brookfield, WI 53008 ph: 262.894.3645 |

2017 Annual Report  
2017 Annual Report