Team Family Ties: #LetsFightMSBro
National MS Society Board Chair, Larry Silverstein, tells us all about his involvement with not only MuckFest® MS, but the whole National MS Society. His strong ties to the cause have made him and his family a fundamental part of the Long Island Chapter and welcomed guests into the pits of mud at MuckFest MS.
#LetsFightMSBro. Larry’s eight-year-old daughter, Sloane, recently coined this new slogan as one of her many contributions to helping end MS forever.
And that’s the beautiful thing about the Silverstein family, they all overflow with passion and dedication to finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis whether it’s through their outstanding fundraising, their participation in multiple MS related events, or their inventive new hashtags!
It shouldn’t be a surprise when the person this family of four is fighting for means so much to all of them. Larry’s mother-in-law was diagnosed over 12 years ago with MS. After her diagnosis, the whole Silverstein family really dug their heels into learning more about MS so they could figure out ways to help. Prior to her diagnosis, Larry knew a couple college friends and a co-worker who lived with MS, but never truly understood the capacity of what that meant. Since then, Larry and his family have met many more people who live with MS, and this just helps motivate them to help get to the cure.
One of Larry’s first steps toward finding a cure was getting involved with the Long Island Chapter. “I was looking for ways to help raise awareness, and more importantly money, and got introduced to the Long Island Chapter and their Bike MS event. From there, I kept looking for the next opportunity, and found after all the events I did, that MuckFest MS was the one that I could really build a strong team around.”
So he did! Larry built a team that has helped him for the last seven years by participating, fundraising, and spreading awareness. His super star team includes his family and many other supporters that, as Larry says, “…are constantly involved, and involving others. Spreading the word, and asking for support – whether it is through promotion or fundraising. It has become a family goal – and that is one of the main reasons our team name is Family Ties.”
Thanks to his extremely active role with the National MS Society, and because of all the dedication and hard work of Larry and Family Ties, at the end of 2014 Larry was nominated to join the Board of Trustees for the Long Island Chapter. Today, Larry serves as the Board Chair for the Long Island Chapter, an honor that was presented to him at the beginning of this year for his commitment to fighting MS. “I have ultimately made this cause my second job,” jokes Silverstein. And it makes sense, as he spends much of his time focused on the goal of helping to find a cure with his wife, Stefanie, and two daughters, Sydney and Sloane, by his side.
With his new found title, Larry is excited to take on MuckFest MS New Jersey with his team for another year of mud and muck! In fact, this will be one of many MuckFest MS events the team has participated in. They joined us way back when MuckFest MS was known as MuckRuckus.
For Larry, MuckFest MS is his way to get the word out about MS, and raise a ton of money to help fight the disease all while having a mucking great time! His team has kept growing year after year and every year the excitement that surrounds the event gets even bigger since he has more people to share the laughs, mud and fun with.
Even his daughters come out to support their dad as he plays in the muck! Though the girls are both too young to participate, they are anxiously awaiting their turn to play in the mud. But they certainly do their part to support Larry and the team by helping fundraise, putting together events, going to MS awareness meetings, and his oldest daughter, Sydney, even dreams of one day becoming a research doctor so she can help find a cure once and for all.
Family Ties will be in full force in New Jersey this year and while Larry is really excited about taking on his favorite obstacle, Flying Muckers, he’s most excited to see “the comradery and team spirit of everyone around me!” He especially finds it gratifying when he sees new members on his ever growing team that doubted they could do it with big, happy, muddy faces during the event. And how does Larry get these doubtful people on his team? He just tells them, “It is so much fun – everyone can and should do this event. You will have a great time!”
You can find Family Ties having a great time in New Jersey this weekend! They will most likely be the team getting into their #MudZone at the starting line while doing their team cheer. Larry describes this tradition as the moment that he knows there is nowhere else he or his team would rather be. So, if you happen to see Family Ties around in New Jersey, don’t forget to stop and salute this mucking awesome family and team for everything they do for MuckFest MS, the National MS Society, and the world!