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Archive for the ‘Fundraising’ Category

Celebrating Milestones – Unity Walk Style

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

We all celebrate life’s milestones. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, and communions are just a few examples. How we choose to acknowledge those milestones varies with each person. Read on to learn about how a few of our walkers have chosen to make the Unity Walk a part of these milestone celebrations.

Milestone Birthdays

Tim Potter of Team Daddy and his Dopamines was turning 60! His family decided to use Tim’s special birthday as an opportunity to create “60 Reasons to Cure Parkinson’s,” a surprise birthday party that also served as a fundraiser for the Unity Walk. They gathered people from all stages of his life – high school friends, college friends, former colleagues, members of his wedding party, and of course his family. As his daughter, Kim watched him make his way around the room, she commented “His voice was full of not only surprise, but of hope. It has been a long road, and to have so many important parts of his life in one place, he knew that he was not alone in his fight.” The Potters raised $1500 that night towards their team’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the Walk.

Wedding Celebrations

Alison Brownscheidle is getting married this October 2014. Her father died of Parkinson’s disease and as a way of honoring his memory, Alison made a donation to the Unity Walk. She asked the Unity Walk to create donation cards that she will place on each table at the wedding. The text and color of the cards can be changed based on the request of the bride and groom. We wish Alison and Matt many years of happiness together and are grateful that her father’s memory (and the Unity Walk) will be a presence at their wedding.

What milestone celebrations do you have coming up in your life? Each and every one is an opportunity to combine the celebration of this milestone with your fundraising efforts on behalf of the Unity Walk. Your creativity is your only limitation! If you have a special celebration coming up and have a few ideas in mind about how to incorporate a fundraiser with it, please let us know if we can walk you through any of your ideas.

Tips for Creating a Successful Fundraising Event

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Are you thinking of creating a fundraiser on behalf of the Unity Walk?  If you have a strong connection to the Parkinson’s community and you’re ready to step up your fundraising efforts, here are some tips to help you create your successful fundraising event.

CheckmarkChoose the Fundraiser That Will Be Fun For You
There is a reason the word “fun” is part of fundraising. Brainstorm with your friends and family. See what appeals to you and to them. Fundraisers typically require a committee who work collaboratively so choose something that will get others on board. Think about what you’ll enjoy planning and take into account the amount of lead time you have, given the complexity of the event.

CheckmarkRecruit Your Committee
When the workload is divided, the rewards will be multiplied. No one person should be planning a fundraiser on their own. Think about the various roles that need to be filled and play to people’s strengths. Some roles include:

  • Soliciting sponsors
  • Logistics/planning
  • Event promotion and PR
  • Day of event volunteers

CheckmarkIdentify sponsors
This may not be indicated for every event but it is well worth considering. Sponsors can cover the expenses associated with your event and if their donations exceed your expenses, then their sponsorship gets added to the amount that you will donate to the Unity Walk.

  • Lay out the benefits associated with various levels of sponsorship and be prepared to discuss this with potential sponsors.
  • Will their company name be listed on a flyer, brochure or t-shirt?
  • Are there opportunities for sponsors that provide support to the Parkinson’s community to share information about the resources that are available?
  • Don’t overlook the value of in-kind sponsors. Some examples of items that may be donated are refreshments, printing, t-shirts, silent auction items,etc.

CheckmarkNail Down the Logistics
Confirm the venue for your event.

  • Will you need approvals of any kind and/or a permit? This is often the case if you’re planning an event in a public setting.
  • Will you need to create a walk or race route?
  • Confirm all required paperwork is taken care of.
  • Are you serving food? Will it be donated or purchased? Will you be offering it at no cost or will you be selling it?

Not the most exciting aspect of the planning but definitely one of the most essential.

  • What’s your plan to raise money at your event?
  • Will there be an admission/registration fee? Is there one level or multiple levels?
  • Will you encourage discretionary donations instead of or in addition to an admission/registration fee?
  • Are you building sponsorship money into your plan?
  • Are there opportunities for additional revenue? Creating a silent auction is just one way to bring in more funds.
  • Plan for your expenses. You don’t want any surprises when you’re in the middle of planning your event.

CheckmarkSpread the Word!!

  • Create your written materials first – flyers, brochures, etc.
  • Use social media to spread the word about your event. Consider creating a Facebook page for your event.
  • Submit your event for inclusion on the PUW Community Calendar. Send your materials to PUW so we can promote your event on the Unity Walk’s social media sites.
  • Prepare a press release and reach out to the media in your local community.
  • Post your event on community calendars – online and in local newspapers.
  • Post flyers around town.
  • Spread the word with emails, mail and phone calls in addition to social media.

CheckmarkThank your supporters

  • Take lots of photos so you can share the excitement of the day with your supporters.
  • Thank your sponsors, donors and participants and then thank them again.

After the work is done at your event, bask in the satisfaction of a job well done. Complete this form so the Unity Walk can include your fundraiser on the Parkinson’s CHAMP in Action page. Share your ideas and success with other walkers. You never know what will create the spark that motivates another walker to create a fundraiser of their own.

The Unity Walk office can help you think through your fundraising events. Please call us and let us know of your plans. No need to recreate the wheel. We have worked with so many walkers and teams on their events and will gladly share lessons learned and best practices. For more ideas, information, forms and templates, check the “Your Fundraising Events” page on our website.

Types of FUNdraisers – One Just Might be Right for You

Monday, September 1st, 2014

If you’re thinking of creating a fundraiser on behalf of the Unity Walk, there’s a high probability that it’s because you have a strong connection to the Parkinson’s community and you’re ready to step up your fundraising efforts. How you decide to accomplish that is another story. There are a wide range of options. In the next few blog posts, we will highlight various types of events that have been held on behalf of the Unity Walk. Whether it’s a local walk, a restaurant fundraiser, an event involving some form of exercise, celebrating a milestone occasion, or any other kind of fundraiser – regardless of the scale of the event – there are some elements that are common to planning for all of them.

So if you are ready to take your fundraising efforts up another level, check out information about how you can plan Milestone celebrations, Restaurant fundraisers, Exercise events, and even planning a local walk in your community — there are so many events to choose from!

The Unity Walk office can help you think through your fundraising events. Please call us and let us know of your plans. No need to recreate the wheel. We have worked with so many walkers and teams on their events and will gladly share lessons learned and best practices. For more ideas, information, forms and templates, check the “Your Fundraising Events” page on our website.

Once you figure out which event type is right for you, make sure you check out our tips for creating a successful fundraising event.

Younger Generation Stepping It Up

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

CaptureYoungerSince the Walk’s inception in 1994, the Parkinson’s Unity Walk is supported by walkers across multi-generations.  This edition of our newsletter is all about our walkers of the younger generation who keep stepping it up to help find the cause and cure for Parkinson’s disease.  Check out stories about how raising disease awareness is just as important as fundraising, how you can never be too young (as young as one year old) to make a difference, grandchildren stepping it up to honor a grandparent, and how unique venues such as bars can set the stage for successful fundraisers.

Click here for our newsletter dedicated to our younger generation walkers.

Our next edition of Stepping It Up will be about fundraisers — so don’t miss our next email update, sign up for email alerts here.

Grandchildren Stepping It Up to Honor a Grandparent

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Grandchildren take an active role in honor of their grandparents

Family is often the tie that binds us to one another. It is always inspiring when family members walk in support of someone they love at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and raise funds for research. It’s especially satisfying to see grandchildren stepping up and taking an active role in finding the cause and cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Melanie and Stephen Ahron walk for their grandfather, “Pop” who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over twenty years ago. He fought this disease with resolve and dignity and had his own “secret weapon” – Grandma Edith. She is five feet of pure determination. She traveled to NY this year for her first Unity Walk, and having met her at 6:00am on the plaza of the Today Show, I can attest to her energy and commitment. In facing her husband’s Parkinson’s disease, her spirit never broke and her determination never faltered. This family’s fight was a team effort.


According to Melanie and Stephen, their Pop offered an open hand and open heart to anyone who needed it. He gave even when he didn’t have what to give. His generosity and caring have been passed along to his grandchildren. He loved nothing more than celebrating all of life’s sweet moments with friends and family. It is with this legacy of compassion and fun that Melanie and Stephen formed Team Pop’s Kids two years ago. This past winter, they created an event to raise even more funds for the Unity Walk. Team Pop’s Kids partnered with the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan to host a NCAA March Madness party. The hotel generously donated a portion of the proceeds from the event to the Unity Walk. Pop’s Kids partied for a great cause and can’t imagine a more fitting tribute to their namesake.


Some grandchildren are still so young that they are introduced to the Unity Walk by their parents. Elizabeth Gold’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago. When Elizabeth began to look for a way to make a difference in her father’s battle against Parkinson’s disease, it was important to her that she find a way to involve her children. “The Parkinson’s Unity Walk seemed like the perfect vehicle to help them understand what was happening to their grandfather, their beloved ‘Big Duke,’ ” explained Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Gold attended the Walk with her husband, infant son of four months and her three older sons – ages 7, 10 and 12. Each of “Big Duke’s” grandsons wore a unique t-shirt their mom created with a photo of them sharing a favorite time with their grandfather. As Elizabeth educates her sons about their grandfather’s disease, she is also teaching them a lesson that they will carry into adulthood, about becoming an advocate for a cause that is near and dear to them. Team Duke was the top rookie team in 2014 so you’ll be seeing more of these grandsons as they have pledged to lead off the Unity Walk in 2015.

The active role these grandchildren are taking in the fight against Parkinson’s disease is a testament to their grandparent’s legacy.  If you know of other grandchildren supporting the Unity Walk, we’d like to hear from you via your comments below.