CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

The 5th Annual Parkinson's Walk of East Tennessee was held on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

It was a beautiful April day with hardly a cloud in the sky. I would like to think I was responsible for delivering such perfect weather but we just got lucky!

Set up started early. There were tables for PD organizations – Parkinson’s Action Network and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation - plus several sponsor tables including AbbVie, Medtronic, Rock Steady Boxing, Advise Financial and a local senior living center.

For a $50 donation, walkers received a special event t-shirt. Over 150 walkers enjoyed live musical entertainment and we had the police and rescue squad there just in case they were needed.

I attend four different support groups on a regular basis and that allowed our walk to expand our reach and invite more members of the local Parkinson’s community.

My advice to anyone thinking of organizing a walk is to create a committee, start planning early and delegate as much as possible.  There are many things for your committee to consider and this list highlights just a few of them – what sponsors to approach, the cost of sponsorship, if you want to provide tables to non-sponsors, pricing for the registration fee, promotion and publicity.

Just a heads up, if you are going to plan an April walk, do your best to avoid conflicting with the date for the Unity Walk in Central Park in case you or others want to attend both events.

When your walk is done, it’s important to have a debrief with your committee so you can sort out what worked well and what you want to do differently in the future. No need to reinvent the wheel when you start your planning for the following year. Do your best to capture all the contacts and details regarding your event. It will make it a whole lot easier when you start up again.

Our walkers participated in the local event and fundraised on behalf of the Unity Walk. I am proud to say that our team raised almost $14,000 for Parkinson’s research!

Alan Zimmerman
Team Captain, PK Hope is Alive