Dear #puw2013, Thank You from Our Team to Yours

May 5, 2013

Dear Supporters,

We want to say thank you and share with you our favorite moments of this year’s Walk.  While we are thankful for the beautiful weather we had last Saturday, this was only a bonus.  

It is you – our sponsors and partners, Parkinson’s organizations, teams, walkers, donors, volunteers, countless supporters, and teams behind the scenes.  Your participation made it a great Walk day and year of raising funds and awareness.  In a year where many are still affected by the aftermath of current events, we stayed united and strong for our cause, while we looked forward to our month of Parkinson’s disease awareness.  Cliché or not, it is really true when we say that it takes a village to make this gathering of community and education, happen.  

It is your efforts.  All year long, you have organized fundraisers including: local walks, work outs, zumba-thons, fashion shows, held school events, sold pens and t-shirts, washer tournaments, flapjack fundraisers, happy hours, team nights at restaurants, bake sales, volleyball tournaments, made crafts and sold them at local flea markets, comedy shows, dinners, silent auctions, and concerts.  Whether via online or offline, you’ve reached out to your friends, family members, coworkers, and additional networks to ask for donations – and to join you.  You even volunteered to put up brochures and flyers nationwide.  Your ideas and enthusiasm were endless as you enlisted your community, time, skills, and resources to make it all happen.  

It is your energy.  A tremendous sense of hope and inspiration is generated when thousands of us gather with one goal: to improve the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s, to remember those who lived with the disease, and to find a cure.  This, our 19th Walk, was the best in terms of increased visibility and awareness for our disease.  Our signage was seen on taxi tops, taxi TVs, bus shelters, and subway platforms; we raised awareness on television and radio stations, and print media; and all month long, our public service announcements ran inviting everyone to make every step count.

After a year of fundraising, you still wanted to do more as you travelled near and far from your hometowns, to join us on Walk day in New York City.  The weekend started at Rockefeller Center as you brought your team spirit at the Today Show.  We were seen and heard in the streets of New York, and in millions of households on many television sets.  Then one by one, we filled-up Central Park and you walked proudly wearing your volunteer badges, in your team shirts, and carried your signs up high.  As we sit here reading your messages, we see hundreds of tweets and Instagram posts, and thousands of photos and think of how amazingly you used social media to tell your story.      

It is seeing that we can do more, together.  The ticker measuring donations on our website is now at $1.5M (and counting until May 28th).  Because many of us chose to take action together, the collective number of funds raised will go farther, and we are reaching so many more people who didn’t know about Parkinson’s before we began.  
It is knowing that 100% of the funds we have raised will soon be in the hands of researchers and scientists.  

So, we really want to say thanks.  Whether you walked with us in Central Park, joined us from your hometown, sponsored a walker, and/or made a general donation – you have supported in your unique way.  Thank you for being part of the 19th annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk.  We do have many tools and therapies in our toolbox to help people with Parkinson’s and their families with their quality of life until we find the cure.  You make this a wonderful community that shares and supports one another and we thank you for choosing the Walk as the perfect forum to learn.

We understand that Parkinson’s symptoms do not take a day off and we promise to do our part all year long!  Please remember that our doors, inboxes, and phones are always open for your feedback and to answer any of your questions.  

With thanks,

Our team at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk

P.S.  Please share this letter with your family and friends.