Out of an abundance of caution, and for the protection and safety of participants and volunteers, Highmark has cancelled all in-person Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community events in 2020 and will be transitioning to an online-only fundraiser and virtual walk. Additional changes have been made to fundraising incentives, t-shirt distribution, and donation deadlines. This modification ensures that participating organizations are still able to fundraise using an online platform while maintaining the health and safety of Pennsylvania communities. This change was made in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations to practice social distancing and avoid mass gatherings. Continue reading below for an overview of changes and opportunities to participate! An Overview of Changes 1. Transitioning to a virtual walk and online-only fundraiser. As stated by Highmark, “a virtual walk is a real walk, but it’s on your terms!” Although we aren’t able to meet in person, Walk participants are encouraged to complete the walk anytime from May 9 through June 30, 2020 by walking on a treadmill, in the park, on a trail, or in your community. You can also simulate a walk by walking laps around the house or by climbing up and down a staircase several times. One mile is roughly 2,000 steps for an individual with a stride length of 2.1 to 2.5 feet. To accurately count your steps, consider using a pedometer, activity-tracking device, or cellphone step-tracking app. Several virtual hike and walk videos are available online as well if you would like to add a visual component. Please follow all recommendations provided by the CDC, including maintaining at least six feet of distance from others; coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow; washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol before touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or face; and avoiding discretionary travel when possible. While walks in the community are allowed, please follow these recommendations and avoid touching frequently used items and surfaces. 2. The minimum fundraising amount to receive a t-shirt has been reduced from $30 to $15. If you’re interested in receiving a Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community t-shirt, raise at least $15 for a participating organization using the online donation platform. All donations must be received no later than June 30, 2020. T-shirts will be distributed to organization leaders in July. Will you join us in raising funds for Trying Together? 3. Highmark will continue to offer one raffle ticket for every $50 raised. For every $50 you raise for a participating organization, you will receive one raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize valued at more than $1,000. Raffle chances will be tracked online within your individual walker milestone tracker. All donations must be credited to your individual walker account by the walk organization by June 30, 2020. Prizes will be distributed in July. If you have any questions, feedback, or concerns about these changes, please contact Brandon Berns at 412.544.8559 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Join Our Team If you’re interested in walking or donating, considering join Trying Together’s team! Registered virtual walkers will have the option to sign up as an individual, join a team, create a new team, or pull up team information from a previous event. Thanks to Highmark’s online platform, participants can donate and track donations made; send templated email reminders to your teammates; and more! Visit our registration page to sign up and learn more! Donations One hundred percent of the donations received will go directly to the participating organizations. All donations must be received no later than June 30, 2020. Trying Together will accept donations via the online donation platform or mail. If you would like to submit a check or cash donation, please complete a Walker Donation Form. All forms and donations must be mailed to Trying Together at the following address: Trying Together 5604 Solway Street Pittsburgh, PA 15217 Will you help Trying Together reach its fundraising goal? For more information, contact Maria Pisano, Director of Communications, at email@example.com. More Information For more information and answers to common questions, visit Highmark’s FAQ page.