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The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Illinois and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.


Muddy Fun at MuckFest® MS Returns to Chicago Area

August 25, 2016

Slip, sliding through mud and obstacles is the name of the game at MuckFest MS, and the results are a fun-filled day of laughter, camaraderie and raising funds for a great cause – helping to end multiple sclerosis. More than 2,600 participants are expected at this year’s MuckFest on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, the second year that the site has hosted the event.
Kim Finch of Bartlett, who is living with MS, is participating in MuckFest for the third consecutive year in the Chicago area, and her team “Don’t Expect Much” continues to grow, this year to more than 30 members. As of late August, her team had raised over $10,000 to support MS research and services.
“Our team started with just family, then family and friends and has taken off from there,” explained Finch. “I wanted to raise awareness and allow myself and my family to have a great time while doing it.”
The 5K course, which navigates participants through more than 15 obstacles, provides a challenge that all can enjoy, regardless of fitness level. Doing the course together is the best way to experience MuckFest, where teammates can share some laughs and provide support to one another along the way.
Erin Dorn and her family travel more than 120 miles from their hometown of Cross Plains, Wisc., to participate in MuckFest, and her team, “Erin’s Mudskippers” have raised over $100,000 over the past three years. Dorn uses her MS diagnosis and participation in MuckFest as an opportunity to teach her kids about the importance of attitude when life gets tough and when facing situations you cannot control.
“We are demonstrating the power of individuals coming together to make a difference,” she said.  “My kids are seeing this and are participants in this effort. If we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, it is amazing the goodness that people will show, even sometimes from those you least expect it from.”  
Nationwide, more than 40,000 participants have raised more than $3 million through MuckFest events in 2016. Since its inception, MuckFest MS participants and donors have raised more than $22 million.
“MuckFest MS Chicago allows us to raise awareness and attract new supporters to the MS movement, many of whom had little or no knowledge of MS before they signed up,” said Holly Messick, Greater Illinois Chapter President. “MuckFest MS is symbolic. As we overcome the obstacles out on the course, those same obstacles can also inspire us to get back up and keep moving forward.”
MuckFest is family friendly and the elaborate course and festival area are constructed to ensure spectators get a great view of the muddy action. There’s no admission fee for spectators, so runners are encouraged to invite family and friends to enjoy the day. Even kids get their own mucky play area called Lil’ Muckers. After teams cross the finish line, they take their mud-soaked “after” photo, hose off, and celebrate their accomplishments with their complimentary Traveler beers and treats in the MuckFestival area. AbbVie is the national sponsor of MuckFest MS. The national MuckFestival sponsor is the Traveler Beer Company.
The MuckFest MS series supports people living with multiple sclerosis, and brings us closer to a world free of MS. 100% of fundraising dollars support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s mission to stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever. Registration is now open at
For media interested in getting a first-hand look at the MuckFest course and to try out some obstacles for themselves, there will be a MuckFest media preview day on Friday, Sept. 9, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Muck Fest participants and MS Society representatives will be on hand for interviews. If you plan on attending the media preview day, please RSVP to Calvin Fleming at or (323) 484-6707.
2016 Event Information
Name: MuckFest MS Chicago                            Date: Saturday, September 10, 2016
Event Location: Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake, IL 60030


About the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS across a 73-county territory, starting at the Wisconsin-Illinois border and extending south through the northern and central areas of Illinois, and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis 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. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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