by Ron Milliman

As you may have heard by now, we are planning the first ACB walk/run to be held this summer at the beginning of the national convention, on Saturday morning, July 4. It is officially called the ACB/Track Shack Watermelon 5K Walk/Run. You can participate as a member of the ACB Walk/Run Team even if you don't attend the convention! I will tell you more about how you can participate later in this article.

It will be conducted by the American Council of the Blind in partnership with the Track Shack Foundation in Orlando. The event will begin early Saturday morning, July 4 at 7:30 a.m. It will take place in Mead Garden, located in Winter Park, Fla. Since Mead Garden is 17 miles and approximately 25 minutes from the hotel, bus transportation to and from the event will be provided. There is an entry fee of $25 per person, and all participants must send their entry fees to Dena Wilson in the national office to receive the official walk/run packet, which consists of an entry form, instruction sheet, pledge forms and pointers for seeking pledges.

All participants will need to arrive at the Rosen Centre hotel on Friday, July 3, and pick up their race packets that afternoon or evening. Buses will leave for the walk route at 6:15 a.m. on July 4th. The estimated arrival time back at the hotel following the walk/run is between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m.

What's the Point?

You might ask: "What's the point of an ACB walk/run?" The primary purpose is to give all of our members an opportunity to help ACB raise the much-needed funds used to support all of our many programs that, in turn, benefit you in many ways, both directly and indirectly. It is one more way that you can engage in an activity shared by lots of your ACB brothers and sisters.

How Does It Raise Money?

We need each of our ACB Walk/Run participants to solicit pledges from your friends, relatives, neighbors, and the many people you know. We will provide you with a list of potential contributors that you can contact. We will also suggest what to say to potential contributors when asking for their pledges. This information will be included as a part of your official race packet.

We want as many of our members to participate as possible by actually getting on the buses Saturday morning at the Rosen Centre, walking or running the race and returning to the hotel, but we also realize that many of you, for whatever reason, are not attending the ACB national convention this year. Even if you don't attend the convention, you can still participate in the event! You can still be a part of the ACB Walk/Run team by requesting your official entry form and materials and helping us seek pledges. In contemporary terminology, you might refer to this as being a "virtual" ACB team member! Regardless, you can still fully participate by helping us solicit pledges.

What Does Each Participant Receive?

Every participant, whether you are at the convention or not, will receive: a bib number from Track Shack, a race T-shirt and a souvenir gift. If you are actually at the race in Mead Garden, you will also receive: refreshments, live entertainment, and a map of the route.

Track Shack will receive the majority of the $25 entry fee, but in return, Track Shack covers all other costs associated with the event. The remainder of the entry fee will be used to help offset the cost of transportation to and from the event.

However, all of the pledges that you obtain will go entirely to ACB. Therefore, it is imperative that participants seek pledges and donations from family, friends, local businesses, etc., in order to make this event a big ACB success.

Win Prizes!

All participants, whether you are at the convention or at home, are eligible to win some really great prizes. The participant who brings in the most in total pledges will win a very, very nice prize. In like manner, the affiliate that brings in the largest total pledges from its members will win special recognition. There will be other prizes for all individuals who bring in between $100 and $249.99 in pledges, and for those who bring in between $250 and $500, and still more prizes for those people who bring in over $500 in pledges! It Is Up to You to Make This ACB Walk/Run A Huge Success!

Take the first step by making a commitment to participate in this exciting first-ever ACB walk/run. Sign up today and start seeking pledges now. Send your $25 entry fee to: Dena Wilson, ACB Walk/Run, American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201.

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