2018 Recap - An $820,000 effort to help end MS

Noble’s 2018 BP MS 150 riding team breaks all previous records and raises over $820,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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The town square in Fayetteville, Texas, population 258, has a quaint and historic feel. A wooden precinct courthouse built in 1880 still occupies town square and the iconic Red and White building, built in 1835, is across the street. Residents of this historic town, however, gather along Main Street on a Saturday in April each year to show support and cheer on a very modern cause. Cow bells in hand and peering down the road, they are waiting for the first of several thousand bicyclists who will ride through town as a part of a two-day bike ride from Houston to Austin. With more than 60 miles already behind them, the riders appreciate the cheers and encouragement as they coast through the town and know the first day of riding is nearly done.  

Riding for a Cause

The BP MS 150 bike ride from Houston to Austin is a fundraising cycling event for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It is the largest cycling event of its kind in the country with as many as 13,000 riders making the two-day, 150-mile route from Houston to Austin. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Money raised from fundraising goes into research for a cure and to help those afflicted with MS. Noble has participated as a team in the bike ride since 2013 and has progressively raised more money every year. 

2018 was a banner year for Noble, raising just over $820,000 for the National MS Society. This spectacular fundraising effort made Team Noble Drilling the second-highest fundraising team out of 405 total teams. Personal contributions, virtual riders from the rigs, a charity golf tournament and a matching contribution from the Company all contribute to this outstanding result.  

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About the Ride

Fundraising for MS is the primary goal, but having an excellent riding experience is also very important. David Bulkley, a Noble volunteer and second year rider in the event covers some of the high points of 2018. “This year’s BP MS 150 was an absolute blast and the weather conditions could not have been better. Day one took us through the town of Fayetteville, where the townspeople set up alongside Main Street and cheer the riders on as they pass by. It’s a huge block party with music, bubbles, and high-fives all around. Day two of the ride included a new route and finishing line at Circuit of the Americas. The Formula One racing complex was set up as if we were tailgating a race day, with food and beverage vendors, live music, and go-kart racing. It was a great way to celebrate the end of our ride from Houston and year of fundraising.”

Top Fundraiser

Team Noble Drilling has the honor of having the top fundraiser of the entire event ride as a member of the team. Rita Joubran is a true veteran, both as a rider for the past seven years and living with MS for the past 10. “I flashback to 10 years ago to when I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Back then, I would never have believed that I would participate in a 2-day bike ride from Houston to Austin, or that I would ever be able to raise over $100,000 in one fundraising year.” Rita credits her loving and supporting family for these achievements and one person’s pledge to raise money for MS. 

“One day, an acquaintance, Nate Mery, asked me to sign an orange bandana. He had heard about my diagnosis, came across the BP MS 150 ride, and signed up in my honor as a way to help. I was very touched by the gesture. Nabil, my husband, our kids, and I decided to go to Austin and meet Nate at the finish line. There, I was overcome with love, hope, courage, faith and certainty that a cure would be possible. It was God's way of telling me that everything was going to be ok.” 

After that first visit to the finish line, Nabil committed to riding the following year. “I thought he was crazy when he set a $25,000 fundraising goal for himself. Nabil trained with all of his heart, soul, and might. Cheering him on was incredible and from then on, the MS 150 became a family affair. We had over 50 people at the finish line and he raised over $34,000 that year. In that moment, I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it takes for as long as physically possible, to do my part to help end MS forever”

Rita has since participated in seven rides and raised an astounding $101,125 for MS in 2018. Her contributions placed her at the top of the individual leaderboard and also buoyed Noble’s team fundraising level to the top five teams overall. Rita reflects afterward “holding the #1 spot out of thousands of riders is pretty awesome, there's no denying it.  Our goal, however, has always been to raise awareness and make a difference-no matter how big or small.  Every rider is #1 in my eyes and every participant, whether rider, volunteer, or donor, is a real-life MS hero for me and the 2.5 million people living with MS.”

Rita and Nabil Joubran relax at the Noble pavilion after day one of the ride.

Rita and Nabil Joubran relax at the Noble pavilion after day one of the ride.

A Strong Team Effort

The combined effort of the riders, volunteers and donors resulted in an impressive number of awards for the 2018 Noble Drilling team. For fundraising, the Noble team earned second place overall from a field of 405 teams. In the category of teams with less than 100 riders, the Noble team had the most Club 300 honorees and the second highest fundraising average per rider.  As a team, Noble won the Gold Safety Award and also won the “Most Creative Jersey” award.

For individual awards, the Noble team had several riders make it in the top 20 fundraisers, including:

  • #1 Top Fundraiser - Rita Joubran;

  • #4 Top Fundraiser - Steve & Garret Logan;

  • #7 Top Fundraiser - George Carter;

  • #11 Top Fundraiser - Bob Pohl; and

  • #12 Top Fundraiser - Don McCormack.

Three Noble riders, all of whom also make a huge volunteer effort, were given recognition by nominations from all participants.

  • David Bulkley, a Senior Inventory Data Specialist in Supply Chain, was awarded “Rookie Fundraising Coordinator”;

  • Lauren Loucel, a Senior Analyst in Treasury, was awarded the “Inspirational Rider Award”; and

  • Jason McMullen, Maintenance Systems Manager, was awarded “Above and Beyond – Club 300”. The Club 300 designation refers to the top 300 fundraisers and rewards these riders with special events, recognition and merchandise for high fundraising efforts.  

The success of the team would not be possible without a dedicated group of volunteers. A core group organizes fundraisers and manages team logistics and over 35 volunteers are involved in the golf tournament and ride weekend combined. Noble is honored to have Jennifer McDaniel, who has been living with MS for over a decade, as our MS Ambassador to provide inspiration and support. Noble rides for Jennifer McDaniel and all those living with MS.

Planning Ahead

The volunteers for Team Noble Drilling all agree there is no respite between planning for one year and preparing for the next. The fundraising season begins in the fall and the team is already in action to make the 2019 ride a fundraising success. Lauren Loucel shares “winning the Inspirational Rider Award affirmed for me that my pledge to energize people about MS is working. As a rider on the team, every contribution helps; and as someone who lives with MS, it is hopeful and heartening to know so many people are working together to end MS.”

Jennifer McDaniel - My Story

I couldn’t focus with my left eye. Suddenly, I had trouble lifting the front part of my foot. And then came a sharp pain in my back and chest. While on a business trip in 2005, my body started to and kept telling me something was wrong.

After a visit to my primary care doctor then a neurologist for a spinal tap and an MRI of my brain, neck and spine, I finally got some answers. The MRI revealed lesions on my spine. The spinal tap results came back positive for eight oligoclonal bands. These results confirmed that I had Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). My body’s immune system was attacking itself.

While I initially promised myself that this diagnosis wouldn’t change my life, it slowly has and continues to. Over the last 12 years, MS has stolen my ability to sustain my career, the independence that comes from being able to drive and so much more. Although there’s no cure for MS, I remain hopeful, active and feeling so very blessed.

First and foremost, blessed by the love and support of my family and friends and the unrelenting devotion and selflessness of Chris, my husband of 32 years and caretaker as my MS symptoms have intensified.

Second, by the hope I’m able to maintain because of people like you and everyone at Noble Drilling. Your commitment to finding a cure by fundraising for and riding in the MS 150 exceeds my wildest dreams. I want to say thank you and remind you how important what you’re doing is.

Since 1993, sixteen Disease Modifying Drugs (DMDs) have been developed. One of those DMDs, Tysabri, has minimized the frequency, intensity and duration of a MS relapse or an attack when my symptoms flare up. The research to develop drugs like Tysabri wouldn’t be possible without your fundraising.

You and Noble Drilling make this possible – my treatment, the research that gives me hope and the National MS Society’s incredibly critical role in the lives of MS families, including mine. It’s all made possible because of people like you and your ride. Your contribution has enriched and changed my life, so know you’re having the same life-changing impact on every other MS patient.

Because of your commitment, I have hope that the days without a cure for MS are numbered. Thank you for your ride and the difference you’re making. 

About the Team

RIDING SINCE 2013

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Team Noble Drilling is a group of more than 100 riders and volunteers participating in the BP MS 150 to benefit those living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Since its founding in 2013, Team Noble Drilling has raised over $1,500,000 in donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, making it one of the largest annual contributors towards this cause. We hope that you will join us in support of the vision of making a world free of MS. Visit our team page on the National MS Society’s website to make a donation, find individual team member pages or check on our fundraising goals.