Every year, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society hosts MuckFest MS, a fun mud and obstacle 5K event that raises funds for the society’s mission to support the ongoing search for better treatments and solutions for multiple sclerosis. Earlier this week, the Society gave recognition to the event’s 100,000 “mucker” or participant, Erica Montelo, who joined to show her support to her sister, Kelly, who 5 years ago was diagnosed with progressive MS.
Erica is not the first Montelo to join an NMSS event to show support. Kelly’s whole family has participated in the Walk MS, and this year will be Erica’s second time to get dirty with over 2,500 other muckers in the MuckFest MS set to take place in Chicago on Saturday, August 29, 2015. Previously concluded legs of the event took place earlier this year in Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Detroit.
“My sister means the world to me, and getting all mucky and muddy to help raise money for the National MS Society is the least I can do,” Erica said. She joins the MuckFest with a whole group of co-workers at Microsoft in tow. Last year, she even headed a 30-person team that was able to raise almost $20,000 for a local chapter of the NMSS.
“The dedication of MuckFest MS participants, like Erica, really does have a huge impact locally, throughout the Chicago area and across Illinois. MuckFest MS participants have raised nearly $1 million that helps us here at home fund critical MS research, programs and services,” said Holly Messick, president of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Over the years since its conception, MuckFest MS has helped raise over $20 million for the NMSS.
Several MuckFest MS events are lined up this year, with the soonest one happening Saturday, August 15 in St. Louis. The next in the series are scheduled as follows:
- Chicago (August 29),
- Twin Cities (September 19),
- San Francisco (October 10),
- Los Angeles (October 24)
- Houston (November 14).
“Erica is only one of 100,000 participants that need to be honored and thanked. They do so much more than just run in the mud and raise money. The thousands of MuckFest MS participants also bring much needed visibility and awareness to a cause that is often overlooked,” said Jim Hennessey, Director of Consumer Marketing at Event 360, the event’s producer.