Updated: Apr 24, 2019
The walk for 2018 is done! Yesterday I (and my fantastic team!) participated in the annual "I Gave My Sole for Parkinson's" Walk-a-Thon. So I thought I would give my readers a quick overview of the event, what we raised, and even a few photos of the event itself!
First I have to say that I think it was an unmitigated SUCCESS! Unlike previous years, the walk was held in a completely different venue - that being the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, MI. Although the previous location - Celery Flats in Portage - was a nice location, having it at the zoo not only was different, but it had the advantage, I think, of drawing in a LOT more people! This was because everyone who participated in the walk got free entry into the zoo, and could stay afterward as long as they liked to visit the exhibits and the very cool animals residing there!
StatsBut first, in order to tell you why I think it was so successful, let me give you the statistics as of this morning. At last years event, we had about 157 total participants, and raised $18,139 for the foundation. This year, SO FAR, we had a total of 297 participants, 30 teams, 371 donations, and - drum roll please - $43,472.87 raised! WOW! The initial goal was $16,000, which got raised to $22,000 - well, you can see we exceeded that goal by 198%! Now that is a successful fund raising event!
This is my fourth year of involvement with the Southwest Michigan walk... And of course, your Deep Brain Thoughts parkie himself, like other previous years, had another fantastic team of walkers, using our past year's name "Tom's Warp Speed Walkers". Our group this year was the largest yet (7 team members, including myself!) and composed of some great individuals - my wonderful wife and "Care Partner" Karen, my little (younger) sister Debbie, our friend Cheryl, and three of my past co-workers (who are some of the nicest and coolest people I have ever worked with) Tyson, Andrea, and Sarah! Our team raised a total of $1,890!! And we had a fantastic time - most of the team walked through the majority of the zoo (3+ miles?), and although we saw a lot of things, I'm sure we missed a few exhibits and animals. But we did what we intended to do, walked to "Give our Sole for Parkinson's"!
In addition, I had a table showing off this very blog, along with a video slide show detailing the blog, and giving out my classic DBF "business" cards. I also made myself available to answer any questions about the blog or my experiences with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) which I had last year. Next to me a couple of my team members held a raffle of some items I donated for the event, including books from Michael J. Fox and Kirk Gibson, and even a cool Willie Horton bobble head! (See what you missed!!) That raffle raised another $170+ for the foundation!
But after all this was done, I was one tired parkie, let me tell you. I came back home that afternoon and "crashed" for a two-hour nap! But again it was definitely worth it!!
Michigan Parkinson's Foundation (MPF)
I've been a member of the MPF Walk Committee for a couple of years, and I have to say they are a fantastic and fun group to work with! So I want to thank all of them for their hard work in pulling off this Walk-a-Thon. Plus we had a great team of volunteers that helped getting folks registered, setting up tables, tents, and the like at the actual event location in the zoo, and helping people coming to the event with answering questions and directions. Without these folks this event would never have happened!
The Michigan Parkinson's Foundation serves the people in Michigan who have Parkinson's and their families. They provide numerous programs including: Education - including materials and seminars, Research, Support groups, Exercise and Movement programs, Financial Assistance for Medication and Respite Care to those needing help with these items, and many others. And all the money raised stays in our state of Michigan!
Again, I think this was one best "I Gave My Sole For Parkinson's" events I've attended so far! Not only did everyone have a wonderful time at the zoo, but we raised the largest amount of funds of any of the previous SW Michigan walks! I consider it a privilege to be able to participate - both in the event itself but also on the committee - and again want to thank all of those folks. But more importantly, I want to thank all of you and everyone else who contributed to the event and especially to my team! From the bottom of my heart, I say Thank You so very much!
And yes, we have already started thinking about next year's walk! We have no idea yet as to what or where, but the zoo was so successful that maybe... well, we'll have to keep thinking and planning! So what's next? My wife and I are planning on attending the "Small Steps Big Strides" Gala event next month, which is being held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan. A wonderful evening of dinner, music, and dancing at one of the most historical and awe-inspiring places - and we will have exclusive access to the whole museum that night! For details, see my EVENTS tab on this blog!
Well, that completes my story on the 2018 "I Gave My Sole for Parkinson's" walk... Much like my Route 66 trip, it's a little depressing as of this morning - I've planning and worked on this so hard and long... anticipating it - and suddenly it's over!! But I guess that's the way life is - everything moves on! So we have to move on also!
I've been working on another new Parkinson's post which I think you will find very interesting. That should be out in a week or two, so stay tuned everyone!