CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP
West Haven, CT
Walking Since 2018
Events Held: Ziti Dinner & Raffle at Johnny’s Grille; Team Sally T-Shirt Sales; North Haven High School Events: Bake Sale, 50/50 Raffle, and Girls’ Softball Game Dedication
Raised: $11,330.79 for our first Walk
Why We Walk:
We walk for Sally Maher - a true and loyal friend to many. For 25 years, Sally served as a head coach at North Haven High and Sally was more than a coach. Sally was a role model to all the young ladies she coached so well. Now, Sally is facing her battle, and we will not let her fight alone. The Team Sally support system is an unbreakable chain made up of friends and family who are determined to see Sally through this!
Fun Facts about Team Sally:
We surprised Sally at the Girls’ Softball Game Dedication! A fun fact was to see Sally’s face when she saw the sea of blue Team Sally T-shirts worn by players, alumni, coaches, coworkers, friends, and family. Even the opposing team players wore blue and silver ribbons in their hair! Some of Sally’s alumni left college during final exams to attend the game and then turned around and drove back to school. That says something about the person that Sally Maher is!
Key to Our Fundraising Success:
During our first year, we exceeded our fundraising expectations by doing a variety of fundraisers and getting the whole community involved. Brian Southworth from West Haven Elks BPOE 1537 initiated a Ziti Dinner & Raffle at Johnny’s Grille. Restaurant owner Ed Sweeney allowed us to hold the dinner there and he donated raffle prizes too. Our Community jumped in with donated sauce, meatballs, bread, desserts, as well as raffle prizes. Coach Karen Castagnola, the team, and parents organized the Girls’ Softball Game Dedication for Sally. All the money collected at the gate, as well as the money from the bake sale and donations, went to Team Sally for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. T-Shirts were another big fundraiser – the sales of Team Sally shirts all went to Team Sally Unity Walk.
We also have fun! We organized a bus to take us to Central Park for the walk to make it convenient and more enticing for people to want to be part of this event. There were lots of laughs on the bus even though it was early in the morning.
What We Love About the Walk:
What we love and what we find very touching was although there were so many teams in attendance, there was only one team unified in the fight against Parkinson’s. By keeping the walk short, it helps attract more people. As we get older a lot of people can no longer do the normal 5K, so this was a beautiful walk through Central Park for a great cause.
Story by Donna Rzasa, September 1, 2018
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