John C. Hamil Walk for Parkinson's Research Raised over $16,000 for the Parkinson's Unity Walk
JAMESTOWN, NC --- John “Bulldog” Hamil lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease on May 2005, but the fight to find a cure for the debilitating disease continues. On April 1, 2006 the first John C. Hamil Walk for Parkinson’s Research was held at the Ragsdale High School Stadium.
Carol Kerr became interested in having a fundraising walk after she was diagnosed with the disease four years ago. “For the past couple of years, I tried to get the walk together,” she explains. “I didn’t want to sit back and feel sorry for myself.” But she wasn’t able to make the walk happen on her own.
Ten months ago, that changed while Kerr was attending a Bible study group with her friend, Linda Holden. Kerr mentioned the walk and Holden thought it was a good idea. “That’s all I needed,” Kerr says.
The two began organizing the event and contacted various Parkinson’s organizations around the country. Kerr heard back from the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. A representative suggested she hold the walk in April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. The women began discussing what to name the event. Kerr immediately thought of Hamil, who had long been a member at her church--Jamestown Presbyterian.
Hamil, who suffered with Parkinson’s the last six years of his life, was well-known in the community. While looking for a logo for the walk, she remembered Hamil’s nickname – Bulldog – which he earned while on a mission trip to Mexico. She asked his wife, Mary Hamil, for permission to use it. “She cackled,” Kerr says of his wife’s approval. “They called him that because he was tenacious but tenderhearted.”
Carol hoped to raise $5000. But the amount raised was over $16,000!! These funds were then sent to Parkinson’s Unity Walk where 100% of the funds are distributed among the seven national Parkinson’s organizations for the most promising research.