CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action
Our story is really quite a simple and familiar one. It deals with the strong emotional and spiritual bond between a father and daughter and the desire to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Vincent Galano, Jr. was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008. Although his daughter, Nicole, was fourteen, he still made her feel good about her abilities and achievements. He always found something to praise. After all he was and still is his daughter’s best friend and biggest fan.
Early on, Nicole and her family encouraged family and friends to participate in The Parkinson’s Unity Walk and other events, no matter where they might have taken place, so that the community’s awareness about Parkinson’s disease would be raised. Everyone was encouraged to donate to the Unity Walk and one was reminded that it was pledge time again and again.
In May 2011, Nicole, who was now a Junior in High School decided that she wanted to do something “bigger” which would not only raise more money for the foundation but make her community of Commack, New York active participants. It was decided not only to host a fund raiser in Vincent’s name but to give back something to the community for their participation as well. If her plan succeeded perhaps the fund raiser could become an annual event.
Nicole galvanized not only family and friends but the community as well. Nicole organized and hosted the first annual Parkinson’s Bowling Benefit. The fund raiser took place at the Commack AMF Lanes. Nicole began by reaching out to every business and establishment in Commack and the surrounding neighborhoods and asked if they would make a donation that could be raffled off at the event. Everyone was very generous with their donations; she created over 80 Chinese Auction baskets. A light dinner was planned in conjunction with an entire evening of bowling for the price of one’s ticket. The fund raiser was publicized and to everyone’s delight, many people attended. They purchased raffles, had dinner and bowled the entire evening.
The bowling alley catered the dinner and supplied the food and lanes at a discounted price. A portion of the evening’s ticket price went to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and a portion covered expenses. A significant portion of the money raised that night came from a 50/50 raffle and the sale of Chinese auction tickets.
Nicole raised over $7,000 that evening with the hope and prayer that maybe that money will be instrumental in finding the cure for Parkinson’s disease. The date of June 1, 2012 has already been set for next year’s event. Plans are already underway to make this event bigger and better in hope that lots of money will be raised to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.