REBECCA BAINER — General Assignment Reporter
While Southern seniors are getting ready for graduation, Sam Greenberg is keeping his eye on a different goal. Greenberg, an interpersonal and relational communications major, is starting a non-profit organization to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis, called “MS 4 MS.”
“Our main goal,” said Greenberg, “is to hopefully raise enough money so they ultimately find a cure for MS.”
Greenberg said the vision behind the organization is to have people from all over the country form groups of four to raise money for MS. Then, the group who raises the most money will win an all-expenses paid trip to tour all of the major league baseball stadiums in the league of their choice.
“We’re spreading awareness,” said Greenberg. “While doing so we’re providing a fun, different kind of twist on raising money for something.”
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website, MS is a chronic and often times disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, causing symptoms such as numbness in the limbs, paralysis and loss of vision.
Greenberg got the idea to start the organization on a trip to the Grand Canyon with his mother over the summer and said he chose MS because his grandmother suffered from it.
“When I went out there I saw the Arizona Diamond Back Stadium,” said Greenberg. “It reminded me of a dream I had when I was younger to travel to all 30 major league baseball stadiums.”
Greenberg said right now he has a team of about 20 people helping him work to get corporate sponsors because what started as an idea is turning into an official non-profit, in which over 70 people have shown interest to help get involved.
“If we get, let’s say 250 teams across the country and we find a way to raise $1 million from those teams,” said Greenberg, “a part will be allocated to the trip expenses, a part will go to paying our employees. The additional money will be given to the MS society.”
Anthony Grasso, a senior sports management major, is helping out with marketing and networking and said a business plan has been written up, but right now the important part is to get the name out there.
“It’s just word of mouth, getting as many people to know about it as possible in a respectful way,” said Grasso. “You don’t want to shove it down peoples’ throats. We don’t want people to think we’re saying you have to give us money.”
Grasso said the plan is to begin by traveling as a large group to all the baseball stadiums, where everyone will wear orange, the color of the MS foundation, to attract attention.
“At this point it’s just trying to raise money and awareness so we can go on that trip and hopefully it blows up from there,” said Grasso. “We’re going to raise awareness, these kids are here one day and they’re here the next day.”
Grasso said if MS 4 MS takes off there will be many opportunities to expand the organization to cover other sports.
“We have so many more ideas because if that works than we could do hockey, basketball, football,” said Grasso. “[Sam’s] got visions that stretch across the next five years to 10 years.”
Grasso said it’s a time commitment to help out with the group, but Greenberg is a good leader and everyone involved is showing true interest.
“He wakes up and he’s just like what’s next, what can I do today to make more progress and I think everyone’s starting to think like that,” said Grasso. “This just seems so real and I think a lot of it has to do with the amount of positive influence we’ve gotten from a lot of people. We all start talking about it and we talk for days on end.”
Frank Tavares, professor of communication at Southern said he only met Greenberg this semester but has noticed his dedication.
“One of the things that struck me early was his energy and excitement about the project,” said Tavares. “He’s found something about which he’s truly passionate.”
With graduation on the horizon, Greenberg said he will have to find himself a job and he would love to take this even further and make it his career.
“He’s found something about which he’s truly passionate. And he’s been able to channel his energy and interests into developing an organization that will make a difference in the lives of others,” said Tavares. “We all should be that lucky.”
Greenberg, who’s played baseball his whole life, said he will continue to play on the Southern team in the spring and work on this project.
“I’ve always gotten fulfillment for doing good things for other people. The fact that this is a route for me after college doesn’t surprise me,” said Greenberg. “I would love to see this through to see if it actually works.”