Walk Managers are often asked - why are there four events that make up the NAMIWalks program? The simple answer is that we want to keep you - our sponsors, team captains, walkers and volunteers - inspired and informed about the program and the great work NAMI is providing in your community. Each event has its own purpose and importance to the NAMIWalk program, so I thought I would breakdown the concept/reason behind the events.
- Walk Information Meeting - We begin the NAMIWalk season with the Walk Information Meeting. This event is to announce the NAMIWalk date, goals and our plans to make the upcoming Walk FUN! We also discuss how the funds from the previous Walk benefited NAMI’s mission. We invite previous sponsors, team captains, key walkers and volunteers, as well as other people in the community who want to get involved with NAMI and the Walk.
- Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon - The Walk Information Meeting is followed by the Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon. The Luncheon serves as a training session for our registered team captains and those interested in becoming a captain. During this event we do discuss the importance of the Walk program, but we really concentrate on training our team captains on how to form successful teams and providing them the tools to become better coaches and fundraisers.
- Walk Day – The actual Walk Day is held about 6 to 8 weeks after the Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon! This is the day we celebrate the hard work that has been done during the Walk season. For months we have been steadily raising funds and spreading awareness about NAMI, so now we get to relax and enjoy entertainment, food and a leisurely walk with family and friends. This is our time to have FUN and reflect on what we’ve accomplished!
- Post-Walk Awards Celebration - Shortly after Walk Day, we like to host our Post-Walk Awards Celebration. At this event we bring sponsors, team captains, key volunteers and walkers who raised over $250 together to thank them for their support and dedication to the event and to NAMI. We also announce the total amount of funds raised though the event and how we plan to use the funding, as well as recognize our sponsors and top fundraising teams and walkers. This event closes the Walk season, but the new Walk season will be starting soon!
I hope this gives you a better understanding of the NAMIWalks program and why we host four events during the Walk season. As you can see, each event has an important purpose and provides the next step in making the Walk a great success! Here’s a picture of a trio performing at a Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon (we like to incorporate FUN into all of our events)!