CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP

January 2011 - Team Heartland Brewery

Coming into our tenth year, Team Heartland Brewery has evolved from a group of 8 to 10 motivated fund raisers called the Union Square Yokels into a significant team of 70 plus enthusiastic and experienced fund raisers supported by the Heartland Brewery.  Not only do we gather to walk for a noble cause, but also we are able to spend time with friends & family and catch up on the past year. In other words, the “Unity Walk” has become a reunion of many friends and relatives.

Our team started when our founding father (also my brother), Ryan Elliott, and his friends decided to start a team in support of our recently PD diagnosed mother, Christine Elliott.  Since they lived in Union Square, they appropriately named their team the Union Square Yokels.  A few of us showed up and we enjoyed the day, but it wasn’t until after a few years of successful walks that Ryan turned the Union Square Yokels into Team Heartland Brewery.

Ryan was what you call a “usual” or “mainstay” at the local Union Square Heartland Brewery and with his persuasive negotiation skills struck a deal with Heartland Brewery.  The original arrangement (which is still honored today!) was that Heartland Brewery would provide t-shirts for the team, host our post walk celebration, and provide some food for our famished walkers.  All we had to do was show up and drink their seasonal brews! As the Spanish would say “Que Ganga” translated to English as “what a deal!” Through the years we have maintained a great relationship with Heartland Brewery and they have always been able to accommodate our growing team. 

Our shining star is our mother Christine Elliott.  The team’s massive size and growth is clearly a credit to her.  Anyone who has ever had the pleasure to meet her would tell you that she is the most caring, classy, and unassuming person you’ll ever meet.  She is doing great in her fight against Parkinson’s disease and never complains about the hardships that she faces every day.  Her attitude and will has taught us all how to carry yourself and reiterates what’s truly important in life.  Everyone who knows her makes it a priority every year to make it to the walk. 

This brings me to our next strength, our unbelievable support from our friends and family.  The collection of friends from Westfield, NJ, Wilton, CT, college friends from Washington & Lee College and Dickinson College, industry friends from and continued support from Infineum USA, Ltd, and everyone else we’ve had the pleasure to meet on our families’ path over the years is exceptional.  On behalf of my family I’d like to say huge THANK YOU!

We’d also like to say thank you to the great Unity Walk Organizers who conduct the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and all the other 500 plus Unity Walk teams.  Clearly, my mother’s positive health is a direct result of this walk and the various medications that are produced from its funded research.

In final, note to all top 5 teams, we are coming for you.  We have finished in the top ten 3 of the past 4 years and are aiming for yet another top spot.  So Team Cantore, Team McMoss, and Credit Suisse Walkers we know who you are and we have our sights set.  Good luck to all this upcoming year!

Greg Elliott
Team Captain Team Heartland Brewery