CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

Debinas Movers & Shakers Volleyball Fundraiser

Debbie Flamini and Vincent and Eileen Danielenko,
Debbie' parents.
Joe Flamini, Debbie's husband and Paul Devery, one of
the organizers of the fundraiser.


I decided a few months ago to do the Parkinson's Unity Walk because I felt a strong need to raise awareness about my disease.   But I had no idea how much I was about to learn.  The experience of going “public” with my diagnosis has taught me more about friendship, giving, compassion and kindness than I ever would have learned, had I not been diagnosed with PD.  I actually feel my life has been enriched by this disease, because I have had the very fortunate experience of feeling the support of 120 coworkers and 900 students that I am lucky enough to work with each day.  

On Tuesday, April 17th, the school I work in organized an evening volleyball fundraiser to help me raise funds for my team – Debina’s Movers & Shakers.  Every single staff member helped in some way – either by donating food, playing volleyball, volunteering to work the event and/or donating prizes for our raffle.  Led by staff members Janet Lebreton and our Student Council advisor Paul Devery, the event was a huge success, raising over $3500 for my team!

So how did we do it?  Students and their families were charged $4 admission per person, which included one door prize ticket each.  There were 10 beautifully presented door prizes valued at about $50 each.  We ran a 50/50, which collected over $600.   The winner chose to give the money right back to me to boost the evenings profits.  We sold hot dogs, drinks and snacks.  During lunch periods that entire week, our health teacher organized a coin toss “for Mrs. Flamini for Parkinson’s Research”, which brought in close to $500.  Participation earned them chances to win the Kid’s Prize Basket.

A week before the fundraiser, our local newspaper ran a front page article about the event, the Unity Walk, and me!  The public was so inspired by my story, I even received donations from members of the community with no connection to our school, or me.  It also prompted two school board members to attend the fundraiser.

The day after the event, I thanked our staff and students over the PA system during morning announcements.  I closed with the following:  

My favorite quote is “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass – It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  I want to thank you all for being my umbrella and boots on days when I need them.  But even more important, thanks for the sunshine you always provide and for helping me believe there is a beautiful rainbow just waiting to be discovered.

The Unity Walk gives us all hope we will see that rainbow some day soon!  Thanks for organizing this event for the Parkinson’s community!

Debbie Flamini

View the YouTube video Debbie created of her event.

 Joe Flamini, Janet LeBreton, Fundraiser Coordinator,
and Debbie Flamini.

Debbie Flamini, addressing the fundraiser and
her husband, Joe.