Annual MS Slugfest 16 inch softball tournament takes place on Saturday, August 6, at Mt. Greenwood Park in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. The 32-team, all-day event has become a summer staple on Chicago’s south side, and is anticipated to raise over $50,000 this year to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and MS research, education and support programs.
For Molly Sexton, a resident of the Beverly/Morgan Park area who was diagnosed with MS in May 2013, MS Slugfest is more than a competition it’s a way to bring family and friends together to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis, which affects more than 20,000 people in Illinois and 2.3 million worldwide.
“The atmosphere is full of positivity, love and happy cheers from everyone around,” said Sexton. “Everyone is there to show support of you, and everyone else living and fighting MS. It is truly a humbling day; you know you are not alone in your battle.”
Sexton and her team Molly’s Sluggers are participating in MS Slugfest for the 4th
consecutive year and for the past two years have been the event’s top fundraising team. As of late July, Molly’s Sluggers were again atop the fundraising standings, having raised over $1,800.
“When I first started I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but in only three weeks, we had met our $1,000 goal,” she said. “I am continuously blown away from the support and generosity of my family, friends and strangers.”
MS Slugfest is organized by the local MS Society chapter’s young professionals group, Multiple Solutions, comprised of approximately 40 members who have a direct connection to MS, either through a family member or loved one affected by the disease or themselves living with MS.
“The Multiple Solutions group is dedicated to changing the lives of those impacted by MS by supporting one another and through our fundraising efforts,” said Charlie Knibbs, who is the event’s chair and also a native of Beverly. “Slugfest and the other events we organize during the year are a great time for fun and socialization, while also giving back to this incredibly important cause to all of us.”
Looking to the future, Sexton points to being proactive for herself and remaining involved with events like Slugfest and Walk MS, the largest annual fundraiser of the National MS Society in Illinois, as important factors to maintaining her well-being and upbeat attitude.
“My hope for the future is that I just keep moving and living day by day,” she said. “I hope there is a cure one day for MS, but in the meantime I hope to stay positive and active in my everyday life.”
Slugfest festivities take place throughout the day starting at 8 a.m., including a home run hitting contest, lunch and beverages. Each team is guaranteed at least two games and is required to raise a minimum of $1,000 to participate. Prizes are awarded to the championship winning team and top fundraising team.
There is still time to register your team for 2016 MS SlugFest by visiting MSSlugfest.org. For questions, please contact Charlie Knibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org