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Kevin Lewis to Hold Tournament for Parkinsonís

Hot Springs resident Kevin Lewis is asking the community to reel in the big fish for Parkinson's research.

In collaboration with Arkansas Rigs and Jigs, he is hosting a Bass Tournament of Champions, to benefit the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) on March 16 at Lake Ouachita. The tournament will run from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lewis, 44, and an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, has been living with young onset Parkinson's disease for more than five years. As he notes, only 4 percent of people living with Parkinson's are diagnosed before age 50.

He is especially motivated to organize the tournament to raise awareness about Parkinson's and the challenges of living with the progressive disease.

With a passion for fishing and crafting baits, he is hosting this creative fundraiser on Lake Ouachita, known for its bass tournaments and pristine water.

Working with the PDF Champions program, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, he hopes to attract 50 boaters to the tournament to help raise funds for research.

The bass tournament will begin at the Crystal Springs Boat Ramp and is open to teams of two on each boat. Anglers with the largest catch and heaviest weigh-in of bass will have an opportunity to win cash prizes every two hours. Registration to enter the tournament is $150 per boat, with $100 of each sale benefitting PDF. Lewis hopes the tournament can become an annual staple in the community.

Local businesses have already rallied behind his cause as sponsors, donating items and prizes to make the tournament a success.

"I wanted to give back because I realize that I'm not the only one out there going through the challenges of Parkinson's disease and feeling the way I do. We grapple everyday with questions like, ‘Why is this happening to me?' or ‘Why is my leg dragging today?' It is so important to raise awareness and educate others about this disease," says Lewis about his motivation for organizing the event.

PDF executive director Robin Elliott said, "We are grateful for PDF Champions like Lewis who are dedicated to funding the most promising research and raising awareness about the impact of Parkinson's.

His efforts to help PDF improve the lives and futures of the nearly one million people across the country living with Parkinson's are inspiring."

For more information or to support Lewis' fundraising efforts, contact PDF at (800) 457-6676, or

Source Date: Mar 05 2013
Source Publication: Hot Springs Village Voice
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