RT&E News

RT&E is "Crankin' For a Cure" with National MS Society's DE Chapter

Kate Cowperthwalt and Mark Miller

When the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society wanted to revise the event promotions that are instrumental in helping to raise funds and awareness for the disease, it turned to RT&E's art director Mark Miller. Mark, a member of the NMSS volunteer marketing committee for over a year, had been actively involved promoting some of the local chapter's major events. He was responsible for rebranding the MS Society's one-day bike ride known as the Mason-Dixon Ride with a more-descriptive name: "Crankin' for a Cure", and he designed a new t-shirt that all participants received at the April, 2007 bike ride.

But Mark wasn't done offering his creative insights for the NMSS Delaware Chapter. Other efforts on behalf of the organization included the design of event posters, flyers, billboards, apparel, and team captain jerseys for the infamous "Bike to the Bay" two-day event in September 2007. For all his work on behalf of the organization, Mark Miller received the "2007 Friends of the MS Society Award" which is given to "individuals, organizations or corporations that provide outstanding support to the Delaware Chapter."

"Mark has been an invaluable asset to our organization," said Kate Cowpertwait, president of the Delaware Chapter. "His professional expertise has helped us generate a greater level of awareness and excitement for chapter events. Mark has helped us customize some of the materials provided by the national organization, giving the Delaware Chapter a distinct, unique image."

But how Mark became involved with the MS Society several years ago was highly personal—when he was diagnosed with the disease in 2004.

"I was having frequent head aches and moments of blurred vision, which wouldn't go away," said Miller. "After four years of medical tests and screenings, I was diagnosed with optic neuritis; a symptom of MS. That's when I was first introduced to the Delaware Chapter of the National MS Society, which serves more than 1,300 state residents and their families living with the disease. They provided educational programs and support services for me and my family to help us understand the disease and its treatments. After my health improved, I just showed up at their office one day and said I want to offer my creative services. Are you interested? They said it was the first time anyone who was a client of the organization offered to volunteer."

"When I approached agency president Chick Housam with my health situation and the idea of offering all this pro-bono work to the local MS chapter he said "Lets do it." without any hesitation. The following week we were in their office planning how RT&E could help out the organization.

"In terms of MS I've gotten off really easy and consider myself lucky. My doctors have helped me make consistent progress. I doubt you'd believe I even have this ailment today. MS is such a complicated thing and affects each person diagnosed so differently. It's also such a pleasure working at an ad agency where my colleagues offer all of the support I've ever needed."