Volunteers Make MuckFest MS Possible

Here at MuckFest® MS we know that our events wouldn’t be possible or nearly as much fun without our amazing participants who make every event a laugh riot and filled with inspiration. However, the obstacles, mud, and laughs wouldn’t be the same without our incredible volunteers who give their time and energy to make MuckFest MS the muckiest mud run out there. We spoke to two volunteers, Janice and Barry Davis, who have been volunteering with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for 15+ years and just recently experienced their second MuckFest MS!

Q: MuckFest MS: You two have been volunteering with the National MS Society for years. Where do you do most of that volunteer work?

Janice: We volunteer mostly in Glenview and DeKalb, Illinois.

Q: MuckFest MS: We love the windy city! How did you initially get involved with MuckFest MS and the National MS Society?

Barry: Janice and her family (sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephews) have been volunteering for many years as a way to give back, since their dad, grandpa, and some friends had been diagnosed with MS. When Janice’s nephew, Jason, heard about MuckFest MS, he passed the word along to us. He felt it would be a great opportunity to participate in this event as a family.

Q: MuckFest MS: What does MuckFest MS and the National MS Society mean to you?

Janice: It means raising money so a cure can be found and nobody will have to endure what our dad and grandpa went through. We hope to never volunteer for the National MS Society again, as that would mean a cure has been found.

Q: MuckFest MS: How many times have you volunteered with the National MS Society?

Janice: I have been volunteering for the National MS Society for over 25 years.

Barry: I started volunteering for the National MS Society 15 years ago when Janice and I started dating.

Q: MuckFest MS: Wow! Do you volunteer or participate in any other MS related events?

Janice: My family and I regularly volunteer for Bike MS and Walk MS.

Q: MuckFest MS: What different roles have you played as volunteers?

Janice: I volunteer for all of the Walk MS and Bike MS events in our area, as well as MuckFest MS Chicago. I have also volunteered for SlugFest and worked a booth at a medical conference. Many moons ago, my father and I tinned outside of stores to collect money for MS.

Barry: I volunteer for all of the Bike MS: Tour de Farms as a SAG driver, as well as help in other areas where needed the day before the ride begins. I also volunteer for MuckFest MS Chicago.

Q: MuckFest MS: That’s dedication! Who do you do this for?

Barry: We do it for Janice’s father, Phil, who had MS for 30+ years. He lost his battle in June of 2014.

Q: MuckFest MS: I’m so sorry to hear that. Can I ask why you initially signed up to be MuckFest MS volunteers?

Janice: My nephew wanted my entire family to be involved in this event, and we’re always willing to volunteer and try new things. Also, Jocelyn C., a National MS Society staff member at the time, was always good about asking if our family was willing to volunteer, and we never wanted to let her down.

Q: MuckFest MS: What has been one of your favorite moments from the event?

Janice: Spending the day with my husband to make certain all of the volunteers had everything they needed, including food, beverages, washroom breaks, etc.

Barry: Watching everyone have fun!

Q: MuckFest MS: Advice to people who might want to volunteer?

Janice: Try it…you’ll like it! It feels great to give back!

Barry: It’s very rewarding. Not only just for the cause it benefits, but also getting to help the Muckers.

Q: MuckFest MS: If you had to describe MuckFest MS in 3 words, what would you say?

Janice: Fun, Energizing, Muddy.

Barry: Energetic, Fun and Crazy.

Q: MuckFest MS: If you could share one message with all Muckers, what would it be?

Janice: Have fun and Muck On!

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