Multiple Summits for MS
We sat down with Ryan Chase, UMB vice president and private banking client manager in Denver, to discuss an organization that’s become his personal mission: Multiple Summits 4 Multiple Sclerosis‡.
Multiple Summits 4 Multiple Sclerosis (MS4MS) is an annual fundraising event for the Rocky Mountain MS Center‡. Teams can sign up for a day they want to climb a 14er‡. Or you can go it alone and participate as an individual.
When did you get involved?
It all started when I was almost diagnosed with MS in 2006/2007. I saw numerous doctors and eventually was labeled at-risk for MS. I knew I would make the best of it no matter what happened, but the thought of having MS terrified me. The doctors monitored me for one year. In February 2008, I had more tests and the doctors found no progression. The neurologists told me that unless there was any major change in symptoms, I probably didn’t have MS. Relieved doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.
But I knew others weren’t as lucky. I wanted to get involved with the Rocky Mountain MS Center to make a difference for those who are diagnosed with MS. This wonderful organization is doing some amazing work to educate others about MS and raise money for research to find treatments and hopefully a cure for this debilitating disease. I told them my story and ended up joining the board in 2008.
Then in 2009, I planned to climb Mount Rainier. At first I was only doing it for fun but then I decided to create a fundraising webpage to raise money for the climb. Funding is critical to the work we’re doing at the MS Center and I thought a fundraiser like this would help. I ended up raising $2,000 for the MS Center. When I got back from that climb I decided that I wanted to try it on a larger scale. That simple idea has expanded into what MS4MS is today.
How has it evolved since then?
MS4MS was a grassroots effort in the beginning, but we raised $20,000 in the first year alone. We doubled that the second year, collecting $40,000 from 20 teams. By the third year we formed an official MS4MS committee through the Rocky Mountain MS Center. The program really began to grow that year with 22 teams raising $75,000. We also began accepting corporate sponsors.
How many years has UMB participated?
UMB has supported the program now for two years, acting as a corporate sponsor and encouraging Colorado associates to climb a 14er. This year, nine UMB associates raised money and climbed for the event.
Promoting healthy lifestyles in our associates is an important part of UMB’s company culture. Supporting and promoting MS4MS is just one of the many ways we do this.
Some of Team UMB at the top of Quandary Peak‡. From left to right: Chris Ross, Jenny Boyle, Caleb Hester, Ed Cannon
How much money did the event raise this year?
This year the goal was to raise $80,000. We’re continuing fundraising efforts until October 31, but we are well on our way and we will most likely surpass our goal. We had 225 people register to climb and currently we have raised a little more than $70,000.
Why is Multiple Summits important to you?
As a board member, I know how critical funding dollars are to help with the continuous effort to support the Rocky Mountain MS Center and how important the research is to find a cure for MS. Our partner doctors need the financial support to continue their efforts in finding a cure and progressive treatments for this disease. MS4MS helps the Rocky Mountain MS Center operate. Having gone through the process of a possible MS diagnosis was extremely eye-opening to me and I am proud of what many committed individuals have accomplished in a short period of time.
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Ryan Chase is a vice president and private banking client manager at UMB Bank, n.a. He is responsible for building and maintaining affluent client relationships through fulfilling credit, banking and investment needs. He has worked for UMB for six years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill.