VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – When the pandemic forced Walk MS to go virtual earlier this year, a little girl and her family in Virginia Beach refused to let that impact their fundraising for the cause. Now they are, by far, the top fundraising team in South Hampton Roads and they say their sights are already set on the next walk.
In early March, WAVY News Anchor Katie Collett introduced you to then 5-year-old Kellan Walsh in her Children of Change Segment. She was busy raising thousands of dollars for Walk MS by making and selling bracelets in her grandmother’s name. She called it “Bracelets for Beme.” Then, the pandemic hit.
“We kind of slowed down a little when COVID hit because our focus changed. MS was still right there. We wanted to fundraise, but it’s kind of hard to get out there and ask for money when there’s so much else going on in the world in a national pandemic,” said Kellan’s mother, Kristin Walsh.
Kristin says her little girl’s big heart just wouldn’t allow her to stop fundraising.
“Kellan was still going around our neighborhood on her bike with bracelets. We had a bracelet stand when we were kind of under quarantine for the neighborhood kids.”
Bracelets for Beme added $8,200 to the total fundraising for Kellan’s team Keep on s’Myelin. However, bracelets weren’t the team’s only fundraising tactic. They held raffles and family and friends recruited donations nationwide.
“It’s still just our family and our friends. That’s truly all that we are, trying to make it happen,” said Kristin.
They are making it happen for those living with Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic illness that impacts the central nervous system. The search for a cure is still on, but it’s clear this family, and all of their friends, are up to the challenge.
“It makes us speechless because everyone keeps donating and people that have donated in the spring want to donate again. Their hearts are just so huge.”
The Keep on s’Myelin team was just shy of raising $20,000 for Walk MS this year. Kristin says they are already planning their fundraising strategy for next year no matter what the pandemic brings.
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