CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

Pints for Parkinson

April 15, 2016 - Since my Dad’s diagnosis seven years ago, I’ve wanted to do something to raise money for Parkinson’s research. I never really knew what to do until he said, “Do something you enjoy.” From there, I developed the idea of Pints for Parkinson’s. I asked my favorite bar in York, PA if they would let me host a fundraiser there. They donated a keg of beer which was later given to them by a distributor and the bartenders agreed to donate their tips for the night. I decided to host the event in honor of a friend’s grandmother who died in February after 30 years with PD. Her father then got two bands to play for free during the evening. I posted flyers all over downtown and listed the fundraiser in the local newspaper.

From 6 to 10 p.m., the bar was PACKED! Packed full of people who gave me $10 and $20 bills for a $5 beer and told me to keep the change. Packed with people I knew and those I have never met. And even if they accidentally showed up at the bar during the event, their tips went to our cause. In those four hours, over $2,000 was raised for the Unity Walk.

It was a night I will never forget. It was made even more special because of the surprise visit from my parents who live in Florida, and the planned visit of some Parkinson’s warriors who drove all the way from New Jersey just for a few beers and to show their support.

The best parts of the evening were the small, mostly unnoticed moments. The local man who’s had Parkinson’s for 10 years and never told anyone before that night. He saw the flyers in Central Market and told me he’d been waiting for something like this. Then there’s the man I talked to who said he was only there for the band and to support my friend’s father. Later, he messaged me to say his wife was diagnosed with PD last year. And then, there’s my friend’s grandfather, Farmer Fred. I was so honored he came out to the event in his wife’s honor, especially since it was only a few months since she passed.

April 15th was a dark day for many people, given the tragic bombings in Boston. In spite of that, the biggest lesson I learned from this event was that people are inherently good, and we can help to change the world.

Kate Harmon
Team Member, Team Ryan’s Hope