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Exercise and Parkinson’s: A Winning Combination

February 8th, 2015 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director

There’s growing evidence that regular exercise may hold benefits for people living with Parkinson’s disease. This past week, Shots, NPR’s health news blog, published an article discussing the positive impact exercise has had on Parkinson’s patients. Click here to hear the piece that played on NPR.

Rock Steady Boxing at Gleason's Gym in New York City

Rock Steady Boxing at Gleason’s Gym in New York City

One of the programs featured in NPR’s piece was Rock Steady Boxing. This exercise regimen was created to improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease through non-contact, boxing inspired fitness training. It started in Indianapolis and is now offered throughout the country. We extend our thanks to Marlene Kahan, a longstanding participant in the Unity Walk, for introducing us to the Rock Steady Boxing program in NYC. As a result of this introduction, we are pleased to announce that they will be providing a demonstration on the Bandshell stage at this year’s Unity Walk.

Other types of exercise featured on NPR include Tai Chi, weightlifting, cycling, drumming and dancing. You’ll be hearing more in the weeks to come from our walkers about the ways that they are doing their best to stay active and healthy.

What’s the best exercise that you can do if you are living with Parkinson’s disease? It’s the exercise that you WILL do.

Create Your Own Winning Fundraiser and Watch It Develop into an Annual Event!

February 3rd, 2015 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director

Team-Rossi-soup-for-the-souZumbathon-and-Pasta-for-Par
This is the perfect time to start planning your fundraising event on behalf of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. We’re just starting to hear from several of our teams to let us know that they are re-creating their successful fundraisers from last year.

Some examples are Team Rossi’s 2nd Annual Community Nights at Blue Moon Café and their 3rd Annual Zumbathon, Debina’s Dream’s 3rd Annual Volley for a Cure and 2nd Annual Soup for the Soul; Deen’s Daytrippers’ 2nd Annual Pasta for Parkinson’s; and the 3rd Annual Alabama Parkinson’s Fighter Walk.

No need to recreate the wheel! Do you see the word ANNUAL in each of those fundraiser titles? None of these walkers necessarily intended to do these events each year when they planned the first one but once they came up with their winning formula, they’ve decided to go with a sure thing. Many of these events have become a reunion of sorts and something the team’s supporters look forward to each year.

Talk to your team members. Together, brainstorm to come up with your own “winning formula.” Looking for ideas? Check out the Fundraising Event Ideas A-Z and the Parkinson’s CHAMP in Action page on our website. This is where we highlight the fundraisers our walkers create to raise funds for research. More tools are available on the Your Fundraising Events page and we’re only a phone call away if you want to discuss any of your fundraising ideas.

Look forward to hearing from you soon with your “winning formula” fundraising ideas.

I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy…

January 21st, 2015 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director

IKnowaGuy

Anyone who has watched the  critically-acclaimed series Breaking Bad remembers the criminal attorney, Saul Goodman and his infamous line, “I know a guy who knows a guy.” Saul’s network was significantly more unsavory than mine or yours but like Saul, we all tap into our network regularly. Sometimes, we need to be mindful of who is in our network and the resources that are available to us.

I recently had lunch with one of our walkers. We’ve had many conversations before – about her team, her mom and her extended family but I never knew where she worked. It turns out that she works for the Digital Media group of a major magazine publishing corporation that produces content for some of the leading brands in the industry.  Once we got to talking, we both realized that she potentially has the ability to have one of the magazine’s websites do a story on Parkinson’s disease during Parkinson’s Awareness Month. At the very least, she can ask.

In speaking with Fran Berkowitz, one of our walkers who lives near our office in New Jersey, I came to learn that her son, Ron owns Berk Communications, a public relations firm in New York City. We reached out to Ron and we are grateful that he has generously offered the services of his PR firm on a pro bono basis to help promote the 2015 Unity Walk. He is committed to doing what he can to support the Unity Walk. Offering his firm’s expertise is within the realm of what he can do. It turns out that the staff member in his firm assigned to the Walk has a grandmother who is living with Parkinson’s disease. She is bringing her passion for the cause in addition to her expertise.

The vendor we use to purchase the PUW t-shirts each year was in our office not that long ago. Casually, in conversation she mentioned that she knows the Chief Administrative Officer of Rite Aid. I immediately asked if she would be willing to introduce us to him. Based on that introduction, the Rite Aid Foundation is generously donating 11,000 water bottles for distribution at the Unity Walk.

These are just a few examples of how we’ve tapped into our network to benefit the Walk. We encourage you to do the same. Be mindful of who is in your network and how they might be able to support the Unity Walk. Yes, it’s about making a donation but there are many additional ways that individuals you know can provide their support. Think about where they work, who they know, their connections in their community, etc. People, who care about you and your loved ones, want to be helpful. Sometimes, they just need to be asked. Who knows, they just may know a guy who knows the right guy to make a positive difference.

PS – For your viewing pleasure, Better Call Saul premieres on February 8th and 9th on AMC.

Happy Holidays!

December 22nd, 2014 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director

PUW-happyholidays-2015-blogWishing you all the joys of the season. We hope you have time to relax and time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. May 2015 bring you wonder, joy, contentment and hope.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25th, 2014 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director

PUW-thanksgiving-2014-A

Here at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, Thanksgiving is the time of year when we reflect on all the things we are grateful for – and there are many.

  • We are grateful to our walkers who raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and funds for research each year. They are a committed and resilient group of individuals who meet life’s challenges with grace and humor.
  • We are grateful to our donors, many of whom have a personal connection to this important cause. We know how much it means to our walkers to have their support.
  • We are grateful to our sponsors. It is their continued and generous support that allows 100% of donations to fund research.
  • We are grateful to the Parkinson’s foundations that participate in the Unity Walk. They provide information and resources to the PD community and lead the way on the research funded with donations to the Walk.
  • We are grateful to the researchers who use the funds raised at the Walk to move us closer to finding the cause and cure for Parkinson’s disease. Until that day comes, they continue to develop therapies that improve the quality of life of those living with PD.
  • We are grateful to our volunteers, many of whom have been with the Walk for many years. The Walk would not be the same without their support.
  • We are grateful for the sense of community that is created when thousands of people gather, all committed to finding the cause and cure for Parkinson’s disease.
  • We are grateful for the relationships we’ve made through the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. They enrich our lives every day.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful and satisfying Thanksgiving holiday!