Inspiring Muckers: MuckFest MS Philadelphia, Shawn Williams of Bubby Titches
We’re excited to kick off our 2015 participant interviews with Philadelphia’s Shawn Williams of team Bubby Titches. Shawn’s passion for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and MuckFest® MS is contagious, and we’re excited to chat with him about his team and fundraising for the 2015 event in May.
Why is fundraising for the National MS Society important to you?
My wife, Becky, was diagnosed in 2000. MS has taken so much from her life – physically, mentally, emotionally, you name it. Worst of all is the feeling of hopelessness it leaves you with – the feeling that no matter what you do, things are only going to get worse. But through all the “muck” of MS, the National MS Society has always been there to help us – since the day Becky was diagnosed (her first pamphlet about MS was from the National MS Society) we’ve gotten support and encouragement from them. They were the first people that provided us with information about the disease, and they’ve been with us every step of the way.
They have been our counselors, our aide coordinators, our research advocates, and our friends. During the Day of Service two years ago, volunteers from their office came to our house to help with painting and some odd jobs that we were having trouble getting done.
MS makes you feel like you can’t count on anything – your legs betray you, your memory fails you, your hands refuse to work properly. But the National MS Society has remained steadfast in their support of us and of all the people afflicted with this terrible disease.
How do you raise awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society?
When my friends and I started talking about our MuckFest MS team for 2015, I began kicking around the idea of doing something to promote us and MuckFest MS. I wanted to do something that would be as popular and fun as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, but something that wasn’t quite so… clean. How about filling that bucket with a bunch of muck – and doing it out in the snow? THAT’s the kind of challenge Muckers would partake in! So, on a cold February morning, I kicked off my shoes, thawed out some mud (it took some work to get that muck de-iced!), and got my teammate Trevor to film the whole thing. And I threw the #GoMuckYourself slogan in there hoping it would catch on as a fun tagline.
The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dINP117VDw0
Apart from dumping mud on my head, I’m an officer at our local VFW. I work hard to make the National MS Society one of our primary beneficiaries for donations, and the entire membership of our Post is proud of the support we give our local chapter. In addition to supporting me on MuckFest MS, our Post sponsors the local Walk MS at the Clipper Stadium in Lancaster, PA.
Describe your first experience at MuckFest MS.
It was RIDICULOUSLY fun! I had great friends with me, and we spent so much time laughing during the course I was more out of breath from that than from the difficulty of any of the obstacles!
What are you most excited for at MuckFest MS Philadelphia in 2015?
That moment after you’ve crossed the finish line with your friends, when you’ve got a delicious cold beer in your hand and you take a seat along the course to relax and cheer the other Muckers on!
If you had one message you’d like to share with your fellow muckers, what would it be?
If you’re climbing up a muddy obstacle and you hear someone above you yelling “PARKOUR!” – get out of the way, that’s my war cry when I fall down (and I use it a LOT)!
Thanks for sharing your story and for your support (PARKOUR!) of MuckFest MS, Shawn! See you in Philadelphia.