CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

Fifth Annual Pasta for Parkinson's (Ohio)


The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is life changing.  It is a slow progressive neuro degenerative disease that has no cure.  It affects your motor skills and everyday activities of living.  I have been living with PD for over 15 years:  I was diagnosed at the age of 45, but I began to show symptoms of the disease two years prior.  It has been a slow progression but the effects are permanent and debilitating.  In 2007 I traveled to NYC to attend my first Parkinson’s Unity Walk after my daughters Jennifer and Allison started attending in previous years.  The atmosphere of the walk is electric.  Seeing others affected with the disease and witnessing the enthusiasm of their friends and family encouraged me to begin fundraising at home.

One evening while eating dinner at Station Square restaurant, my husband and I learned about a fundraising event hosted at the restaurant. I then spoke with the owner of Station Square, Ottavio Musumeci, about hosting a fundraiser, which became the first annual Pasta for Parkinson’s.  Ottavio is incredibly generous and an outstanding example of what makes our community so special.

With a dedicated group of friends and family we set a date and got straight to work planning for the event.  We decided to have a raffle for an I-Pad and a 50/50 drawing to increase profits.  Each member of the committee was responsible for selling at least 15 tickets.  This year we had 60 beautiful baskets donated for a Chinese auction.  

Station Square owner Ottavio and his staff donated all their time, bartending and food service.
Students from Ursuline High School donated their time clearing and busing tables.  The Ursuline students received credit towards their service projects for school.  All together we had over thirty volunteers helping.  

Sponsors are a critical factor in our success. They have been generous with their monetary donations and help spread the word about the event. This year, we had a total of 26 sponsors donating anywhere from $400 to $1000.

This year the Pasta for Parkinson’s was held on April 30, 2017 from 1 pm to 4:30pm. Tickets were $15 for adults, $8 for children 6 – 12, 5 and under were free.  The dinner included five different types of pastas and sauces, meatballs, bread, salad and dessert.

With the dedicated help of family, friends and businesses throughout the Mahoning Valley, we have been able to increase our fundraising from $4,000 our first year to almost $23,000 in 2017!  We had a record year in 2016 of almost $27,000. Our team is one of the top 10 fundraising teams in the nation for the Unity Walk.  Our only expense is our half of the cost of the dinners (the restaurant donates the other half) and we have sponsors that more than cover that expense. 100% of the profits from Pasta for Parkinson’s were sent to the Unity Walk the next day.

While I wasn’t able to attend the Unity Walk in person this year, our team was well represented by my eldest daughter, Jennifer and her husband, Owen.  Think local - you don’t need to be in NYC to support the Walk!

Peggy Poole
Team Captain, Team Moon ‘n Stars