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Archive for the ‘23rd Walk’ Category

Young Onset Support Group of Westchester/Bronx

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Teams are at the core of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and they come in many sizes with various affiliations – family teams, corporate teams, and support group teams. Young Onset Support Group of Westchester/Bronx is a great example of a support group that meets all year round AND participates together in PUW. This is their 12th year at the Unity Walk!

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director

YOPD Support Group of Westchester/Bronx with May May Ali at 2016 PUW

In March 2004, George and Norma Jensen, both of whom have Parkinson’s disease, recognized the need for a support group for those with young onset Parkinson’s disease in the Westchester, New York area.  In January 2005, they secured a meeting room at White Plains Hospital, advertised with neurologists, and waited. After four months a few members showed up, then a few more.  Early members included Anthony Fente, Bob Roach, Anne Dowling, Janet Stram and Alex Abraham. We invited guest speakers to keep us informed and started planning social events to have some fun. We developed a trusting, supportive environment where our voices could be heard.

The group now has over 40 members. Both people living with Parkinson’s and care givers are welcome to join us.  Although we are considered a “young on-set” group we don’t turn anyone away as long as they are young at heart.  Our meetings cover a variety of topics including latest treatments, medications, symptoms, strategies for coping with work, sleep, life. All subjects are open for discussion at our monthly meetings.  We have formed true friendships and know that we can pick up the phone and talk to someone who understands our unique challenges. We are actively involved with the Parkinson’s community and share information and resources.

The first year we joined the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, Norma made a beautiful banner and left room at the bottom to add in subsequent years.  The banner has accompanied our group now for 12 Unity Walks.  It’s a reminder to keep up the fight, to support each other, and take care of ourselves.

We are proud of our group and the amazing networking that has placed our team (without any corporate sponsorship) in the top ten teams nationally for a number of years.  Last year, we had 21 registered walkers with many more joining us at the Walk and together, raised $17,314. At first many of us were shy about asking friends and relatives for donations.  What we began to realize is that people want to help.

Many of us have increased our donations by getting our social media savvy children involved. One example is Janet and Danny Stram’s son Scott who, year after year with the help of social media, collects thousands of dollars for his mother’s cause.

Alex Abraham, active member and facilitator of our group, discovered a talent for fundraising.  He begins fundraising for the Unity Walk in the fall and gives anyone and everyone he encounters the opportunity to contribute.  Alex’s philosophy is that it makes people feel good to donate and he has been very successful obtaining face to face donations.  He always has donation forms on him, keeps records of everyone who donates and contacts them from year to year.

Another aspect of the Unity Walk is the opportunity it affords for family and friends to come out and support us as we walk for a cure.  The atmosphere is positive, the walk through Central Park pleasant, the solidarity evident. Living with Parkinson’s disease is challenging but the day of the Unity Walk is always about hope.

Alex Abraham, Team Captain and Anne Dowling, Team Member
Young Onset Support Group of Westchester/Bronx

 

 

 

Not Just a Walk in the Park – Perrigo Walks for Parkinson’s!

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Over 85% of PUW participants walk proudly with their teams. In addition to the many family teams that participate in the Walk, there are corporate teams, support group teams, and teams from programs that train healthcare professionals to work with members of the Parkinson’s community. Team Perrigo is a wonderful example of a corporate team that was looking for an opportunity for their employees to come out in support of a worthy cause. You can only imagine how pleased we were when they called to ask about creating a corporate team and then suggested that we apply for a grant request from their company’s foundation. We are grateful to Perrigo’s generous support of the 2016 Unity Walk – they donated $10,000! – and are delighted that their team will return in 2017.

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director

Team Perrigo enjoying the 2016 Parkinson’s Unity Walk!

Providing high-quality healthcare products all over the world since the early 1900s, it was only fitting that Perrigo Company should partner with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk (PUW) to contribute to researching this neurodegenerative brain disorder.

Perrigo Company and the PUW have more than a few common interests, but the two that are most obvious to me are: Healthcare and Community.

Healthcare
Brushing the surface of both organizations, our mission statements revolve around improving global health and happiness.  Perrigo develops, manufactures, and distributes high quality healthcare products at affordable prices.  Perrigo’s facility in the Bronx manufactures over-the-counter topical products such as the less expensive store brand anti-itch cream you rub on your child’s itchy bug bites and the lice shampoo that you grudgingly scrub into your child’s hair as you wash every linen item in the house.  Admirably, PUW supports the same theme – researching a disease that results in so many people living with debilitating symptoms every single day in order to identify appropriate forms of relief.  This is the foundation of Perrigo’s common ground with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk organization.

Community
Both Perrigo Company and PUW have a strong sense of community.   I’d like to focus for a second on the Community Service Committee that my colleagues, Chris and Clare helped me to initiate in 2014.  This might help you understand how we got involved with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in the first place.  The three of us looked around and saw 500 passionate, hardworking employees at our facility in the Bronx – and an opportunity to bring them all together for a good cause.  That is why we started the Community Service Committee.  Since then, we have participated in events to support research for cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and, of course, Parkinson’s disease. We’ve hosted back-to-school drives for children in need in the Bronx and allocated over $100,000 from the Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation to various causes supporting healthcare and education.

Inviting our employees to participate in PUW gave us yet another opportunity to bring our employees together for a great cause and for that we are grateful. That being said, PUW’s contribution to the community is obvious – organizing an impactful event that brings people together from all over the world.  After attending the thank you reception for top fundraisers the night before the Walk, the sense of community was obvious as people shared poems and speeches about traveling across the country for numerous years to attend this Walk. The love and support in the room was overwhelming and I found myself truly touched by the words of strangers supporting each other through their Parkinson’s journeys.

I’ve witnessed similar love and support at Perrigo in the Bronx.  When I first started at Perrigo as a Production Supervisor, one of my employees fell very ill and I was deeply moved by the efforts of a co-worker to collect donations from other employees who wanted to help – some of whom didn’t even know her personally.   That environment of love and support is not easy to match – but I know we’ve found it with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.

We look forward to supporting the Parkinson’s Unity Walk for years to come.  Thank you for this opportunity to share our story with you.

Rachel Brown
Perrigo Company

“Tis the Season…to Fundraise

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

December was the season for holidays but now that they have passed, ‘tis the season to start thinking about the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and planning your fundraisers. Some of our walkers have created a winning formula with their annual fundraising events. Volley for the Cure at the Hartford School in Mount Laurel, NJ, now in its 6th year, in support of Debbie Flamini, team captain of Debbie’s Dream, is just one example.

Some fundraisers become annual events and are responsible for their team’s fundraising for the year. Examples of these events include Moon & Stars’ Annual Pasta Dinner in Youngstown, Ohio, now in its 5th year; PK Hope is Alive’s Parkinson’s Walk of East Tennessee now in its 6th year; and Team DominACHIN’s Annual Washer’s Tournament in Rhode Island, now in its 7th year. These annual events have raised between $15,000-$30,000 each year.

Not everything needs to become an annual tradition and your team can change it up by creating a new event each time. Whether your event raises hundreds of dollars or thousands, every dollar counts! The possibilities are limitless! Successful fundraisers have included Putt for Parkinson’s, Pizza for Parkinson’s, Paint for Parkinson’s (they don’t have to start with the letter “P” but the alliteration does get your attention) as well as local walks, concerts, bar crawls and shopping nights. You don’t need to do this alone! Talk to your team members. Together, brainstorm to come up with your own “winning formula.” Check out the Parkinson’s CHAMP in Action and the “Your Fundraising Events” on the PUW website to get inspired.

Want to discuss fundraising ideas or talk through the logistics of creating a fundraiser? We’re just a phone call away. Feel free to call at 866-789-9255.