Travnicek Raises over $600,000 to End MS

Amy  Fraser

By Amy Fraser

If there’s one thing that makes someone a good fundraiser it’s dedication, and veteran PwC MS Bike – Grand Bend to London participant, Barry Travnicek, could not be more dedicated.
This year will be Travnicek’s 27th time participating in the PwC MS Bike, making him the only rider who has been involved every year since the event’s inception in 1990.
He got involved with the PwC MS Bike to start fundraising in support of his sister, who was diagnosed with MS back in 1990.
“When my sister was diagnosed she was told to go home and see if it got any worse,” says Travnicek. “Not being a doctor or a scientist, the only way I figured I could help was to raise money to help end MS and that’s basically what I did since day one.”
Travnicek’s dedication to raising money for MS research has grown exponentially over his time fundraising for the PwC MS Bike.
“In my first year of fundraising I raised $750 and last year I raised $61,280,” he says. “My lifetime fundraising over the 27 years is somewhere around $620,000 for the MS Society.”
Travnicek has been the Top Fundraiser for the PwC MS Bike for the last six years, which he does every year without a team, and has no intention to join one in the future.
“Obviously now because I raise all kinds of money I get asked by lots of teams to join them, but it wouldn’t be fair to the other teams,” he says.
To other riders he may seem like a miracle worker when it comes to raising money, but in reality it all comes down to his willingness to ask anybody and to think outside of the box.
“The last thing you want to be when it comes to fund raising is shy,” says Travnicek. “It’s a worn out and tired old thing, but you’ve got to ask everybody that you know and the people that you don’t know.”
“Look at something you do, or know somebody that does, something really special and kind of unique and people will pay for that stuff, especially when it’s going towards a charity. If you can wood work, raffle off some of that off, or if you’re a great cook, maybe have a dinner party and raise funds that way.”
With all the money that he has raised since 1990, Travnicek is pleased with the results he sees his hard work funding.
“The great thing about raising the money that we have over the years is that there was nothing you could do for MS cases when my sister was diagnosed, but now there are about six or eight treatments for people with the early stages of MS and they’re starting on some pretty good research on the people who progress with it,” he says.
With the progress he’s seen, Travnicek is optimistic looking to the future of those living with MS.
“I still firmly believe that in our lifetime we will end this disease,” says Travnicek. “I mean, with the headway we’ve made and the progress that’s coming up it’s going to happen.”
“You’ve got to feel pretty good that this is going to be everybody’s Stanley Cup or Super Bowl when it happens.”
This year’s PwC MS Bike – Grand Bend to London kicks off on July 29 at 7:30 AM at the Grand Bend Motorplex.

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