Team Guaranty 2004 MS150 Logistics
Transport to Houston - NMSS provides a bus service to Houston that INCLUDES bike transport. They pad your bike and have it waiting at Tully stadium, in bib number order, on Saturday a.m. Team Guaranty pays NMSS for this for all employee and family riders (non-Team Guaranty riders will have to pay for it yourself by sending me $25). You can, of course, arrange your own transportation but you'll need someone to drive your vehicle back from Houston. The bike logistics are too complicated for us to do this just for our team. The bus service last year worked great.
The buses leave noon to 7:00 p.m. on Friday the day before the tour from the downtown Omni. We will again this year use the Temple-Inland parking garage as our Team Guaranty staging point and use one of the TI vans to transport everyone over to the Hilton from 12:00 noon until 4:00pm - a volunteer will shuttle us back on Sunday. We'll transport bicycles using my pickup again. Don't be late - the last shuttle leaves TI at 4:00pm Friday and we will not wait. If you miss the last shuttle, you can drive yourself downtown to the Omni, but you'll have to figure out downtown parking for over the weekend.
Houston Lodging Friday night before the ride - if you still can, get a
room at the OMNI Westside (where we stayed last year in Houston, the night
before the MS150). The good news is the rate is again $74 (tell them MS150
rate) and guaranteed reservations are cancelable until noon of the day of
arrival. If you can't get a room, please contact me and we will try to get
you hooked up with another team member. Last resort will be sleeping on
the floor in somebody else's room.
The OMNI is our "official" team hotel for two reasons: that's where the NMSS bus you'll take from Austin lets off, and that's where the NMSS buss to Tully stadium (ride start) picks up - it's just a 5 minute ride to the stadium. So, if you are an Austin team member "staying with the team", please call them immediately (info below) to reserve your room. Since it's cancelable, it's no-risk. You can stay elsewhere, but you'll have to figure out transportation to the stadium on Saturday morning. Call them soon, and I encourage you to buddy up with others. Barbara Smith has offered to serve as Chief Room Coordinator (catchy title, huh?). If you have extra space in your room, or are looking to share a room, please call Barbara, x7724.
13210 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77079
Phone: (281) 558-8338
Fax: (281) 558-4028
LaGrange Lodging Saturday night - "lodging" is stretching it. Bring a sleeping bag and plan on sleeping under the big top or in a pup tent (or I'll be in the back of the Ryder truck if it's really pouring rain!) There will not be much room this year for pup tents, and the big tent works great, so best not to mess with pup tents (but DO bring an inflatable air mattress). There are offsite lodging alternatives with beds, but they require transportation logistics that are beyond this poor team captain. If any of you want to chair the "LaGrange Committee" to figure out alternatives and transportation let me know (the real problem is the traffic jam getting back into the park Sunday morning if you want to start with the group - everyone I know that goes offsite misjudges how long this will take and misses the group start which is a big part of the fun). At this point I suspect LaGrange is mostly sold out, but there are a number of towns with motels relatively close - Giddings, Colombus and Fayetteville are all within 30 minutes (and Austin is of course only an hour and a half). I plan on sleeping onsite and invite everyone to join me.
Barbeque dinner and pancake breakfast are provided by NMSS at the Park in LaGrange - and both are very good.
Contributions and TI Foundation Matching -
The MS150 rider participation carries with it a commitment to raise $400 for
the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Many of you have personal
connections to the MS cause - Sharon and I have a family member with MS and we
have co-workers with family members who have MS. Funds raised through the
MS 150 are the primary source of operating funds for the Gulf Coast chapter and
are put to very good use in program activities (support and clinical). As
I've promised before, the $400 is very easy to raise - our average fundraise
last year was well over $1,000 per rider (the MS 150 average is about $700 per rider) and we
had several riders over $1500. Marianne Roeder even cleared $3000 two
years in a row!
The absolute easiest way to raise funds is to use a personalized E-donate web link from the MS 150 site. Go to http://www.ms150.org/ms150/donate/edonate_link.cfm and enter your name, email address and message. The system will give you a personalized link (not the link in the previous sentence) to send to friends, family, business associates, etc. They can then donate online with a credit card and you will get an email notification. I have been assured by LSNMSS that information (both your's and contributors') is kept in strict confidentiality and is used for no other purpose. Using the E-donate link will also allow you to track your donations easier using the donation tool on the MS150 site since they will post immediately (rather than waiting for LSNMSS accounting to enter the info from checks).
In spite of my zeal for the E-donate process, NMSS accepts checks and cash donations also, so please use those methods if it's easier/preferable to your donors. I will again take care of sending these to NMSS in late February for you if you will bundle them in an envelope with your name and total amount on it and bring to me at the office (3M.158).
NMSS credits your "account" for matching contributions as soon as they receive the form. So, by all means, if you have a contribution from a Temple-Inland employee who meets the eligibility requirements of the Temple-Inland Foundation please have them sign a matching contribution form and include it in your contribution envelope when you send to me. If you need forms, please contact my assistant Kelley Dewey at x4128.
Finally, volunteers do not have to fundraise (your assistance is contribution enough!), but if you would like to fundraise or know someone that would like to contribute, please do. If you set up an E-donate link, just use Team Guaranty as your "name" on the form that comes up at the link above and our team will get "credit" for the contribution.
Also, NMSS will accept contributions toward your fundraising totals through May 15.
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