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Event FAQ's

Event FAQ's

There's a lot of info to remember, so we put together a list of our biggest FAQ's to hopefully answer some of your questions!

Registration FAQs

Is there a registration fee?
Yes. Registration fees increase throughout the year. 
Registration Fee: $35 (increases to $55 on November 14; increases to $75 on January 9)
Late Registration Fee: Increases to $100 at noon on Friday, March 3**

**The fundraising minimum of $250 must be submitted with the late registration fee to receive participant event day materials. Please note: all registration fee dates apply only until the event is sold out.
*All participants are required to fulfill the fundraising minimum of $250.

Is there a fundraising minimum?
Yes. In order to participate, all participants must each raise $250.

What is a Virtual Participant?
Virtual Participants are people who cannot climb or who cannot be at the event. Virtual Participants can register as an individual or team participant, are required to pay a registration fee, and will receive the same benefits and prizes as those who participate on the day of the event. If a Virtual Participant raises $250, they will be given a bib that will allow them to ride the elevator to the top on event day.

What is the difference between an Event Participant and a Virtual Participant?
An Event Participant is someone who is planning to actually climb to the Top of the Rock. A Virtual Participant cannot climb but will fundraise. Team members can register as either Event Participants or Virtual Participants.

Can I register as a Virtual Participant but still climb?

Can I register for Climb to the Top the day of the event?
Yes (as long as we have not reached capacity prior to the event). Event day registration will be available on March 5, 2017 at Rockefeller Center from 6 a.m. – 8 a.m.; the $100 late registration fee and $250 fundraising minimum must be met in order to participate.

Are there any age restrictions?
All participants must be seven years of age or older on the day of the event. Participants between the ages of seven and 11 will only be permitted to participate in the Family Division and must adhere to all of the requirements listed here.

Is there a special division for people who are crazy fast climbers?
Our top notch climbers can apply to climb in our Elite Division. Our Elite climbers will start in the first wave so that they will have the stairwell to themselves. To apply for our Elite Division, please fill out our online application

Fundraising FAQs

Is there a minimum fundraising requirement? 
All participants are required to raise $250 or more, including participants ages seven to 11. All participants are required to fulfill their minimum prior to participating in Climb to the Top. Pending matching gifts will not count towards the fundraising minimum.

We will be posting strict postmark deadlines for donations to be sent in to count towards the packet mailing deadline and the event day minimum. Please check back soon for the exact postmark dates.

Does it count if my team raises $250?
No. Everyone must raise $250 individually.

If I don’t raise the $250 minimum, will I still be able to participate?
Unfortunately, no. Climb to the Top is an important fundraiser that supports vital programs and services and critical research initiatives. Having a strict minimum allows us to generate the most support possible for the over 12,000 people living with MS in our community.

What if I’m having trouble raising $250 or I don’t feel like asking anyone to donate?
We are happy to provide you with tools and ideas to assist you with fundraising. However, if you are unable to raise the $250, you are welcome to pay the difference.

Can I promise to mail in my $250 after the event and still be able to climb?
Sorry! All participants must have $250 in confirmed donations (meaning that we have already received the donations) in order to be allowed in the stairwell.

Where do I send my donations?
Please forward your donations in check or money order (no cash please) to:
NYC – Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society 
Attn: Climb to the Top
P.O. Box 10123
Uniondale, NY 11555

Who do I make checks payable to? 
Checks can be made payable to National MS Society. Please include Climb to the Top and the participant’s name in the memo section of each check.

When do I need to mail checks by?
To have mailed donations count towards the packet mailing deadline, please put them in mail by January 20, 2017. For mailed donations to count towards event day, please mail them by February 10, 2017.

How do I obtain my prizes? 
Prize options and specific dates will be posted online once available.

What is a Climb to the Top - Top Fundraiser?
A Top Fundraiser is a participant who raises $1,000 or more by or before the day of our rankings deadline on April 7, 2017. Top Fundraisers receive special perks at the event and are eligible for a commemorative fundraising item after the event. 

What is the Elite 66 Club?
The Elite 66 Club is made up of the top 66 fundraisers from the previous year. Elite 66 Club members receive special perks throughout the year and on the day of the event, including a personalized bib.

How long does it take for checks to show up on my fundraising page?
It depends on how many checks the Chapter receives and how close it is to the event. Checks that are mailed prior to the event can take about two weeks to show up on your account. To avoid the wait, you can always encourage your donors to sponsor you online. Online donations are safe and easy.

What is My Participant Center?
Every Climb to the Top participant receives an online fundraising account that is accessed through the “My Account” link with your username and password. Online fundraising accounts enable participants to create personal web pages, provide e-mail tools to solicit donations and have reports to track your fundraising.

What do I do if I am experiencing issues with My Participant Center?
If you are using Internet Explorer 11, some aspects of the Participant Center won’t function properly. Click here to see which version of Internet Explorer (IE) you have

If you continue to experience issues, please contact us at 212-463-9791. 

What if my company wants to match my donation?
Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, please visit *NOTE* Pending Matching Gifts do NOT count towards the fundraising minimum.

If your company matches, you may be able to access the forms directly through the search. Follow the set procedure, and the National MS Society will be happy to assist. The impact of your gift may be doubled or possibly tripled! Some companies match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses.

Follow the procedure outlined by your company’s matching gift program; printed materials may be mailed to:
NYC – Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society 
Attn: Climb to the Top Matching Gifts
733 Third Ave., Third Floor
New York, NY 10017

We will send a confirmation to your company and, upon receipt of the check, we will credit your Climb to the Top fundraising efforts.

Are donations tax deductible and how do I get a receipt? 
Yes. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Your cleared check or credit card transaction serves as your receipt. Donations of $250 or more will automatically receive an acknowledgement from the National MS Society by the end of the calendar year in which the donation is made.

Teams FAQs

How do I form a Team?
At the time of registration, select the option to “Create a Team.".

How do I join a Team?
At the time of registration, select the option “Join a Team."

Can donations be made to the Team?
Yes, but we highly discourage team gifts. Donations that are made as a team gift will not count toward a team member's fundraising minimum or to individual rankings toward Top Fundraiser or Elite 66 Club. If you have a team gift that needs to be moved to an individual team member, please contact us at

Team Gift Transfer Deadlines:

  • To count towards Packet Mailing: February 3
  • To count for event day February 24
  • Team gifts cannot be moved on Event Day.

How many team members can I have?
Teams must consist of a minimum of four people including the team captain in order to be eligible for team prizes. However if you are climbing with anyone, even one or two people, we encourage you to register as a team in order to receive the same start time. There is no maximum number of team members.

What if I have already registered as an Individual and want to be on a Team?
We’re glad to have more team members! If you have already registered, just contact us at or call 212-463-9791 with your full name and the team name you would like to join. We will contact you to let you know the transfer has been made.

Can I hand in all my donations as a team?
No, all donations received must be credited to an individual participant. Every team member is responsible for the $250 fundraising minimum and the team total is the combination of all team members’ fundraising totals. We will not be able to move donations on Event Day.

Event Information FAQs

What is Climb to the Top?
Climb to the Top is a stair climbing event that raises funds for the New York City - Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society. Participants will run/walk up the stairs of a designated stairwell inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The finish line will be at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck®.

How many flights of stairs is Climb to the Top? 
Even though you finish on the 69th floor, you will climb 66 flights of stairs, because you start on the Mezzanine level at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

How long does Climb to the Top take?
This depends on each participant's fitness level, speed and amount of time spent at rest areas. Top racers finish in as little as 13 minutes, while the average participant takes from 25 to 40 minutes to finish.  All participants must complete the Climb by 9:30 a.m. or will be escorted out of the stairwell and not be allowed to complete the Climb.

Will I receive an event T-shirt?
Yes. All participants receive an event T-shirt on the day of the event.
How many rest stops will there be along our 66 flight route?
The event will have two rest stops. The locations of the rest stops will be announced closer to the event. Please watch your footing at these locations to avoid slipping.

Will restrooms be available while I am climbing?
Yes. Each rest stop will have access to a restroom.

When will I receive my start time? 
Start times will be provided to participants during the second week of February. Please be sure to read all materials sent to you regarding the Climb to the Top event. Assigned start times are final.

Will my team be able to start together?
Yes! All team members are assigned the same start time so that the team can climb together.

What time should I arrive?
Please be sure to get to Rockefeller Center 30 minutes prior to your assigned start time. If you do not raise the $250 minimum by the packet mailing deadline (February 10, 2017), and did not receive your materials in the mail, you will need to arrive one hour prior to your start time. If you miss your start time, you will be placed in the next available start time.

What if I’m assigned an early start time and want a later one?
Our start time assignment process is done to ensure a smooth and safe climb for all participants. The earliest wave for general participants is will be before 7:00am. By registering to participate, there is a chance that you will be assigned to the first wave. Assigned start times are final.

What if my friend and I want to climb together?
The only participants who are assigned a start time together are people on the same team. If you want to make sure you and your friends climb at the same time, start a team!

Will there be medical personnel?
There will be emergency crews on site. In case of emergency, participants should call the emergency phone number on their participant bib and notify volunteers in the stairwell. Further details about climbing rules and information will be distributed closer to the event.

Can a climber stop on a landing to catch his/her breath?
Yes, but be aware that other climbers are coming up behind you, and you should try to stay over towards the wall.

Can I wear my headphones while climbing?
Headphones and the use of cell phones are not permitted while climbing. This rule is in place for safety so you can hear fellow climbers and volunteers in the stairwell.

Can I bring water into the stairwell?
No. Water spills can create a slippery climb for the rest of our climbers. We will have water available at the rest stops and at the finish line.

Can a climber stop at any time?
Try to avoid stopping in the stairwell. If you are fatigued, slow your pace and try to continue climbing. If you need to stop, make sure you only do this on a landing. Never stop on the actual flight of stairs.

If you do not wish to continue, climb to the next rest stop and inform the rest stop captain that you can no longer continue. If you are unable to climb to the next rest stop or are experiencing a medical emergency, do not climb back downstairs! Call the number on your participant bib and a medical team will come to your assistance. If you do not have a cell phone, ask a fellow participant or volunteer to call for help.

Is there a bag check area provided? 
There will be a free bag check area for personal items on the concourse level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Please do not bring valuables with you to the event. The New York City – Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society is not responsible for any lost or damaged items.

What are some important dates I need to keep in mind?
Thanks for asking! Here's a list of dates to mark on your calendar (check back soon for even more!):

  • August 8 - August 21: August Fundraising Challenge
  • November 7 - November 13: Team Recruitment Week 
  • November 14: Registration Fee Increases to $55
  • January 4 - January 8: Team Recruitment Week
  • January 8: Early Incentive Deadline
  • January 9: Registration Fee Increases to $75
  • January 20: Postmark deadline for donations to count towards the packet mailing
  • February 1 - February 28: February Fundraising Month
  • February 3: Deadline to notify Climb staff of donation transfers prior to the packet mailing
  • February 10: Packet Mailing Deadline
  • February 10: Postmark deadline for donations to count towards event day
  • February 24: Deadline to notify Climb staff of donation transfers prior event day
  • March 3: Registration Fee Increases to $100
  • March 5: Climb to the Top 2017!
  • March 10 - March 17:  Post-Event Fundraising Week
  • April 7: Fundraising & Rankings Deadline

If you still can’t find the answer to your question after reviewing the above information, please email or call 212-463-9791.


Live Events

Please check back as events are added regularly!