Ontelaunee Orchards is among a growing list of companies that are actively supporting their employees in their effort to raise funds on behalf of the Unity Walk. Doug Nemeth is their Executive Vice President. He is living with Parkinson’s disease and is a longstanding participant in the Unity Walk. Together, they’ve created “Peaches for Parkinson’s.” Read below for more details about their fundraiser.
This event highlights that you can raise funds for the Unity Walk all year round and those efforts don’t need to be limited to the months of February through April.
We are grateful to Doug, Stacey and the owners of Ontelaunee Orchards for their support and wish them every success with their fundraiser. If you’re in their area on August 13th, please make sure to stop by.
PUW Event Director
I mentioned in passing to Stacey Mullen that I would love to have a fundraiser of some kind in the orchard for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk but thought it might be a challenge with our time limitations at work. At the time, I don’t recall Stacey reacting at all but she heard me all right. Over the winter, she was working on preparations for the 2016 season. She presented her plans for a walk at our orchards to the owner of the company and he was on board! Once we had his support, we started getting excited about the possibilities. I have spent 37 years working for Ontelaunee Orchards and to be part of an event like this is exciting and humbling. I am so grateful. After eleven years of living with Parkinson’s disease, work is becoming more challenging every day. Happenings like this fill me with optimism and strength. The first blossoms opened for the 2016 peach crop in late March. I believe they intend to do their part and are anxious to start growing. Peaches and Parkinson’s has a ring to it. Don’t you agree?
Team Member, Team “Livin’ La Levodopa”
Doug Nemeth was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease eleven years ago and he’s been a longstanding member of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk’s Team “Livin’ La Levodopa.” Doug has been employed as Executive Vice President at Ontelaunee Orchards in Berks County, Pennsylvania for over 38 years. Doug’s fundraising on behalf of the Unity Walk has mostly involved his reaching out to family and friends. In conversation a few months ago, he mentioned that he would like to create a local fundraiser in our community. That got me thinking – why not create a fundraiser at our orchard? I approached the owner of the orchard and he was immediately on board. This was the beginning of Peaches and Parkinson’s!
Ontelaunee Orchards is one of the biggest and oldest orchards in Berks County, Pennsylvania. In the early 1920’s the orchard was comprised of approximately 2,000 acres growing peaches, apples, and cherries. Today, the orchard is slightly smaller but growing a variety of fruits for “Pick Your Own”; apples, peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and pumpkins. Today it’s a great place to come with the family and make memories while picking fresh local fruit. We are located in Leesport, Pennsylvania and the scenery and views while picking is truly majestic!
During August, aka “prime peach time”, Ontelaunee Orchards holds its annual Peach Festival where we highlight our PF 007 Peaches. These peaches are truly something! They are the biggest peaches you’ll ever see! Every year we have the world’s largest peach, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to successfully document it. The peaches are about the size of a softball, some larger, some smaller.
This year Ontelaunee Orchards’ Peach Festival has decided to combine forces with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. On Saturday, August 13th, starting at 10:00 am, the Orchard will host a Country Road Walk through the orchards. Participants in the walk will get a T-shirt, and a pre-paid bag to pick peaches along with their donation. After the walk, let the festivities begin! Stay for some BBQ, shop at the local craft vendors and listen to some live music! We’ve also approached local companies in our community and several have already signed on to serve as a sponsor of this fundraising event.
Doug believes that resilience is one of the factors that contribute to living well with the disease and he continues to capably and confidently run our company. We are grateful for this opportunity to support Doug in his efforts to raise funds for Parkinson’s research.
Please join us on August 13th, to help find a cure for Parkinson’s with peaches!
Retail Operations Manager