Muck Royalty: Erin Dorn of MuckFest MS Chicago
We are honored to sit down with Erin Dorn of MuckFest® MS Chicago. To date in 2015, Erin has raised over $26,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Her team, Erin’s Mudskippers, has raised a jaw-dropping $45,000. She and her teammates are truly Muck Royalty.
Q: Why did you initially sign up for MuckFest MS?
A: I decided I needed to do something positive with my diagnosis. MuckFest MS interested me because it was physical, involved a group of friends and family, and it was a little outside my comfort zone. I hadn’t done an obstacle mud run before. It sounded like fun.
Q: What does MuckFest MS and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society mean to you?
A: It means more awareness for a disease that many people hear about but don’t really understand. Creating awareness means potentially quicker diagnosis for people with symptoms, funding for support programs, and more research for treatment and potential cure.
Q: You and your team have done an INCREDIBLE job with fundraising for the National MS Society. What is your advice to a first-time fundraiser?
A: Don’t be afraid to tell your story and be a little vulnerable. People can’t donate if they don’t know about the event and bringing the personal perspective to the cause increases donations and gets people talking. I asked for donations, but also encouraged my family and friends to be a part of the conversation and tell their families and friends facts about MS. I also suggest using your talents and being creative. One of my team members is a professional photographer. He set up a booth at a company event and offered professional head shots with all proceeds going to MuckFest MS. It was very successful!
Q: Tell us about your MuckFest MS team’s growth from 2014 to 2015.
A: I was unsure that anyone would join us for 2014 and thought it might be just my husband and me. But we started telling people about it and had 9 brave team members in 2014. Everyone had such a great time, they started sharing stories and pictures of the event with friends. This year we started recruiting earlier and had a team of 50 Mudskippers! I have been told that they are already telling their friends and family about it in anticipation of next year. I will admit that it takes a lot of proactive communication and reminding to get people to sign up. Don’t be afraid to find ways and opportunities to remind people of the event for signing up and donating. It will be fun to see what 2016 looks like for us.
Q: What was your favorite new addition to MuckFest MS in 2015?
A: The giant Triple Pits!
Q: If you could share one message with all Muckers, what would it be?
A: The obstacles in MuckFest MS may not be anywhere near those we face in real life, but something about completing the course and obstacles makes you feel just a little more confident about conquering the next real life challenge. We often times cannot control the muck life throws our way, but we can control how we respond. MuckFest MS offers a way to connect with others, celebrate our strengths, and respond in a positive way to the challenges of MS.