CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

PK Hope is Alive 3rd Annual Walk

 (April 12, 2014) - The Parkinson's Group of East Tennessee – PK Hope Is Alive – held its 3rd annual fundraising walk on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the A. K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge, TN. All proceeds were donated to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.  

We are sharing what it is like to plan a fundraiser like this with the hope of inspiring others to create a similar event in their home towns. Planning for the walk began in November 2013 when a committee was formed and assignments made. A total of six committee meetings were held.

We decided to hire a professional tent company to erect a large tent and supply tables and chairs for the 2014 walk. Two canopies were supplied by members to serve as the start and finish lines. Vinyl banners purchased in 2013 were hung at the start and finish lines and also under the large tent indicating the registration area, etc. Colorful balloons were also attached to the large tent and the canopies.

Potential sponsors were approached early on and a total of $1,550 was raised to offset expenses of the walk.   

Press releases were sent to five area newspapers (Oak Ridge Today picked up the story) and notices of the walk were sent to local radio and TV stations. A local TV station came to the home of two members who were interviewed about Parkinson's disease and the fundraising walk. An informational display was set up at the Oak Ridge Library for the month of April.

In addition to brochures and posters, event t-shirts were designed and produced by two members of the group. Event t-shirts were worn by the committee on the morning of the walk and distributed to walkers who contributed $50 or more.

Registration began at 9 am and the walk was kicked off at 10 am by local neurologist, Dr. Patrick Matthiessen. He spoke about Parkinson's disease and led off the walk with his family. There were about 150 adult and 30 children participating. One large family group of 23 had their own T-shirts printed and walked in support of their father/grandfather.

Face painting was provided at $1 per design. This raised an additional $81 and was included in the funds donated to the Unity Walk.  

Brandywine, a bluegrass trio, played during the walk and several Chick-Fil-A “cows” made an appearance and danced with participants.   

There were information tables under the large tent staffed by Dr. Matthiessen and a Medtronic representative. Also providing information were representatives of local home care agencies and physical and speech therapists.

Goody bags were stuffed at the last committee meeting on March 25th and contained brochures on Parkinson's disease as well as small items such as pens, post-it-notes, candy and Chick-Fil-A coupons.
These bags were distributed at the finish line along with tulips.

Over $5,000 was donated the morning on the walk. This amount added to online donations brings the total raised by PK Hope Is Alive to close to $19,000; $2,000 more than we raised in 2012 at our first walk.

Maryann Mulvenon
Treasurer, PK Hope is Alive