The Schott Sisters Talk MuckFest MS Fundraising and Team Building
MuckFest MS: Thanks so much to the Schott sisters for joining us today to chat about their experience at MuckFest® MS! Would you introduce yourselves to our readers?
Lauren: I’m the oldest sister! I’m 24 years old and am in my final year of the Rutgers University Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. I graduated from West Chester University in 2013 with a Bachelor in Exercise Science.
Lindsey: I’m the favorite child! I’m 21 years old and will be graduating this spring from Lehigh University with a Bachelor in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Nicole: I’m the youngest sister and am 19 years old. I am studying biomedical engineering at The College of New Jersey.
MuckFest MS: The reason we’re here today is to talk about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and MuckFest MS. Why is your family involved in supporting the National MS Society?
Lauren: Our mom was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago. We’ve watched her struggle through the progression of the disease. We try to do as much as we can to help her and support the National MS Society.
Lindsey: Like Lauren said, we’re just trying to do anything we can to help the fight against MS.
Nicole: Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to help out others who have been diagnosed with MS just like our mom.
MuckFest MS: We know from the way you all talk about your mom and each other that your family has a very tight bond. What does participation in MuckFest MS and fundraising for the National MS Society mean to your family?
Lauren: Every year, putting a team together and organizing fundraising events has brought the three of us closer together. Our teams, friends, and family, who are all such an important part of each of our lives, come together as one big team in support of the fight for our mom.
Lindsey: We’ve also learned a lot about each other in terms of working together professionally. We’re able to see a whole new side of each other as we work together to reach a common goal.
Nicole: We have all been involved in MuckFest MS for 5 years now, including other members of our family. Our aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins have participated or have come to watch and support the team. It really encourages us to raise more money and brings us closer together as a family.
MuckFest MS: We understand that all three of you are very involved in athletics. Can you tell us which sports and where you play?
Lauren: I played field hockey for West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where we won back-to-back Division II National Championships in 2011 and 2012.
Lindsey: I play field hockey for Lehigh University which is a Division I level, and we compete in the Patriot League.
Nicole: Since I inherited my height from mom, I play basketball at The College of New Jersey which is Division III in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
MuckFest MS: Can you tell us how each of your individual teams have played a role in your MuckFest MS experience?
Lauren: While I played for West Chester, we participated in MuckFest MS as a team. Since graduating, WCUFH alumni have continued to participate with our MuckFest MS team each year.
Lindsey: While I have played at Lehigh, my teammates all participate in the run but they also help with fundraising events. We’ve organized multiple fundraising events on campus and off campus including bake sales, a private shopping event, and even keeping a known deli in Bethlehem open late to help fundraise for our MuckFest MS team. My field hockey teammates are part of every step of these fundraising events including planning, working, and promoting each event.
Nicole: This year was my first year at TCNJ and all of my teammates (and even coaches) participated in the event! Everyone had a blast and we are already planning fundraising events for next year’s event!
MuckFest MS: What fundraising advice do you have for our readers?
Lauren: My most successful fundraising event was hosting a small bake sale outside of a shopping center in Exton, PA. Only a handful of people were interested in the baked goods. Most people who came by just donated to our team. The amount of people affected by MS through friends and family was overwhelming and their support was amazing! You just have to be creative.
Lindsey: A lot of my fundraising events have been successful because of how well my field hockey team and I promoted the events. Imagine 25 girls handing out and posting flyers all over a college campus, posting our flyers on all social networks, sending emails to students on campus, and communicating with classmates and professors. Our team was so successful by being able to reach out to so many people! Many people on campus knew about our fundraising events. In our last fundraising event at The Goose (the deli we kept open late) we had almost every athletic team come through, even professors and classmates, coaches, family, friends, and some athletic staff members stopped by our fundraiser! It’s always great to see how supportive everyone is when it comes to fundraising for MS!
Nicole: Social media! We have shared links for our team page on Facebook and have received donations from people we don’t see on a daily basis. We also post pictures on the team page to show people how much fun we’ve had over the years! This not only helps us fundraise, but recruit team members as well! We tell our team to share the link so more and more people see it and will donate or join the team.
MuckFest MS: What is your favorite obstacle/festival element at MuckFest MS?
Lauren: My favorite obstacle is the “Big Balls.” Everyone who gets knocked over has trouble getting up because they’re laughing so hard. I really enjoy the festival after the race. This is when all our friends and family get to hang out, drink some beer, and get to know each other. We always have a great time throughout the whole day!
Lindsey: I would have to agree with Lauren, my favorite obstacle is the “Big Balls” also. It seems so simple – don’t get hit by them. But once you do get knocked over, it is so hard to get up because you’re laughing and everyone else is laughing at you too! The event as a whole is such an awesome experience, my teammates always say how they look forward to it every year because it’s always such a blast!
Nicole: My favorite obstacles are “Flying Muckers” or “Triple Pits.” As a team, we had to help each other over “Triple Pits” because it was so mucky, and watching people bellyflop off of the zip line was really funny!
MuckFest MS: Anything else for our readers?
Lauren: I’d love to put in a plug for volunteering or participating at other National MS Society events throughout the year as well. Volunteering at MuckFest MS, Bike MS, MS Walks, and Service Days has also been very rewarding and a great experience helping those affected by MS and supporting the National MS Society. MuckFest MS volunteers get mucky too and encourage the participants throughout the whole race!
MuckFest MS: Thanks to this very special family for their incredible support of MuckFest MS and the National MS Society!