Now entering their fifth year as sponsors and supporters, MC Residential shares how they have rallied as a company to not only raise funds, but raise awareness and amass support from their employees, vendors, residents and within their industry as a whole for autism.

Sun., October 27 will mark the 14th year in which SARRC and Autism Speaks will celebrate its annual partnership event the Autism Speaks Walk in partnership with SARRC. For MC Residential, it was in 2015 when Principals Ken McElroy and Ross McCallister decided this was a cause intrinsically tied to MC’s firmly held commitment to giving back and bettering the communities they operate in.  More importantly, it has become a symbolic rallying point company-wide that continues to breath fresh life into MC’s philanthropic soul.

“The more we learned about the event and the work SARRC and Autism Speaks do, everything came into focus,” says Lesley Brice, President and Partner of MC Residential and 2019 Walk Chair of the Autism Speaks Walk in Partnership with SARRC. “Not only do we have members of our own MC Family with autism, but as apartment operators we also have people diagnosed with ASD living at our communities.  When you pair this with our commitment to bettering our local communities, it instantly became something we knew we needed to get behind.”

From there the momentum MC created was unstoppable. Ken McElroy, Principal of MC Companies served as both the 2015 and 2016 walk chair, and to this day serves on the board of SARRC.  In their first year of support, MC Companies raised and donated over $100,000.  Not only did they raise an incredible amount of money, the awareness they raised was just as valuable.  MC became an autism advocate not only for their employees, residents and vendors, but also to their industry as whole.  Bringing the Arizona Multihousing Association to the table is one of their proudest achievements and continues to advocate on the national stage.

“The contributions MC has been able to make to the Autism Speaks Walk in Partnership with SARRC are incredible, but they are also the result of hundreds of individuals truly committing to one cause,” says Brice. “The feeling that gives us is priceless, and we plan to keep pursuing that feeling.”

Increase Your Impact, Register Early!
MC found that getting an early start is critical, especially when rallying their employees, vendors and industry partners. The earlier the better, begin your registration push three or four months before the walk so there is enough time to mobilize and fundraise.

Fundraise, Earn Incentives
There is no minimum donation and no maximum!

MC’s take on their team’s success is that the participation aspect is just as important as the fundraising piece, and their measurement of success reflects that.  While they have raised and donated over $300,000 since 2015, their employees have also donated thousands of hours.  While money is a renewable resource our time is not, making participation just as important as fundraising.

Company Involvement
MC advises that the best way to understand corporate giving is to simply ask.

Brice says, “I think people will be surprised at how many businesses want to give back. Let your employer know that there is something you are passionate about and want to support.”

As long as you’re respectful, it shouldn’t hurt to ask. Do realize you are likely competing for giving dollars with other organizations, so remain mindful of that. You never know what might be available!

Persistence Year-to-Year
Stick with it! Respectful persistence is key in getting corporate support.  When requesting your employer to get involved you are not only asking for a financial contribution, but their voice behind the cause as well.  It takes time for new ideas to become institutionalized, so stay respectful and don’t be discouraged.

Where Do Donations Go?
As the event name suggests, the Autism Speaks Walk in Partnership with SARRC is just that: A partnership! Half of all funds raised stay right in Arizona to support SARRC’s programs, services and research. The other half is designated to Autism Speaks’ mission and funds research and resources for those nationwide.

Walk Day Details
We expect nearly 15,000 walkers on Sunday, Oct. 27, so we encourage our participants to register ahead of time to beat the lines. Registration opens at 8 a.m. Here, those who have raised $150 can claim their 2019 commemorative walk t-shirt!

Walkers can also visit the numerous resource providers which will be onsite until 11:30 a.m. There will be plenty of kid-friendly activities including face painting, crafts and bounce houses!

Registration is free. Instead, participants are encouraged to set a goal and fundraise either as an individual, a team or by joining a team! The earlier you register, the more time you have to track your team’s progress; get access to resources, fundraising tools, and much more. Within the online fundraising center, Autism Speaks has created a dynamic online fundraising portal that participants can customize, access helpful tools and information, and much more.

Walk Route:
At 9:30 a.m., walkers can choose between a 1 or 3-mile route. Hydration stations are provided throughout both routes. Strollers are welcome, but please no bikes or scooters.

Quiet Zones:
Sometimes the walk environment can become overwhelming, so we have some designated spaces that can be used as a safe outlet. Please ask our volunteers at the Information Booths when you arrive to point you in the location of our quiet zones.

Company Connection:
If you’re a company looking to bolster your involvement, there are a number of ways you can show your support. Take advantage of sponsorship opportunities starting at $2,500. Please note that restrictions may apply. Or, start a company walk team and increase your impact by engaging your company employees. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Heidi Naranjo at 480-450-3920.

Volunteer at the Walk:
We’re always looking for helping hands to help leading up to and day of the event. Whether you’re interested in volunteering as an individual or team, your time and talent is a tremendous help to the success of the walk event! Learn more here.

Are you ready to get started? To learn more about the 14th annual Autism Speaks Walk in partnership with SARRC, we encourage you to visit us online at Or, feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to answer your questions!