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Congratulations to Tamra Cantore, recipient of the 2007 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award

The Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award will be presented to Tamra Cantore of Marietta, Georgia on April 28, 2007 at the 13th Parkinson's Unity Walk in New York City:

Ann Hart, Tamra Cantore, Julie Shirley

I am honored to nominate Tamra Cantore for the 2007 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award.

Tamra Cantore is a 48 year old single mother of two young children. She was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s over 8 years ago and since that time has embraced her diagnoses to make a difference in the fight to find a cure. …..her perseverance and commitment to fund Parkinson’s Research has been the cornerstone of her mission and vision for “Team Cantore”.

“Team Cantore” was formed 6 years ago in conjunction with the Parkinson's Unity Walk in New York and since that time “Team Cantore” has secured in-kind cable advertising to promote the walk representing in excess of $1 million dollars from her former industry colleagues and most significantly her team has raised a total of over $300,000 towards Parkinson’s Research. But what truly defines Tamra and why she is so deserving of this prestigious award is her unending energy, passion and inspiration that touches everyone she meets.

Three years ago, as a result of a friendship with a nationally recognized song writer, Jeffrey Steele and her dear friends, (neighbor, Julie Shirley and the owner of The Swallow at the Hollow BBQ restaurant & songwriter and performance venue, Paul Doster) Tamra and her friends organized the “Countrified Rock for Research” Concert; now in it’s third year. This grassroots effort has emerged as one of the most significant components of “Team Cantore’s” annual fundraising efforts for PUW, contributing over $150,000.

In addition, she supports the cause on an annual basis with a strong focus on the Unity Walk by single handily building a force of family, friends and colleagues that support her and this incredible cause. It is through her vision and organization of "Team Cantore" that we began this journey of fundraising with our involvement in the Parkinson's Unity Walk in NYC.

My God-father, Glenn Burgeson also has Parkinson’s disease and coupled with my friendship with Tamra, I feel intimately connected to this important cause with Tamra at the helm. She is a friend and a mentor and hired me at The Weather Channel 16 years ago and it has been her guidance and inspiration that was the force behind my success professionally and opening my heart to the work we could do to raise awareness to Parkinson’s. In addition, The Weather Channel has participated in the Walk over the past 5 years and something that I am so very proud of. This was something that was started by Tamra and I am honored to have followed in her shoes to take it to this next level.

Lastly, what makes Tamra even more deserving is that she is not only dealing with her own disease, but she is dealing with additional hurdles with her two children who both suffer from Fragile X Syndrome, now the most commonly diagnosed form of genetic mental impairment. In dealing with her own struggles she has also published a book of God Given – Heartfelt poetry called “The Calm Throughout Life’s Storms” which has not only helped her get through each challenging day but has provided comfort to others through her inspirational poetry. Through all of this, she inspires all who know her by her dedication to her children, her energy and her drive to make a difference in finding a cure for this disease. She is my hero!!

Ann Hart
Vice President, Affiliate Sales – The Weather Channel/PUW Board Member

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