Parkinson's Advocates in Research
You can influence Parkinson's research. How? By working with Parkinson's Advocates in Research.
Display the Quilt
Display the Parkinson’s Quilt in your community to show the impact of PD on your community.
Champions in Action
PDF is grateful to our Champions for making PDF their charity of choice. We are also inspired by their personal stories and dedication to Parkinson's research. What are they up to? Browse some of their stories below by type of event, or find and support a current PDF Champion.
Each year, the Palizzi family of Colorado generously forgoes their Christmas exchange and collectively donates to a selected charity. This year, PDF is honored to be the recipient of the Palizzi family's $1,075 donation. Family member Tom Palizzi is a member of PDF’s People with Parkinson's Advisory Council (PPAC). In this role, he helps to drive PDF's mission to support research and ideas that will improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.
Together Tom and his family are making the most of the holiday season. Thank you Palizzi family!
The following is a letter received by PDF.
June 14, 2010
Dear Parkinson’s Disease Foundation,
I just wanted to let you all know about something special my kids did.
One Saturday in May, my children, Matthew, age 10 and Juliana, age eight and their friend, Canyon, decided to operate a lemonade stand in front of our house.
They had been outside for a while and had already needed a refill on the lemonade when I went out to check on them. I was wearing my Parkinson’s Awareness Month T-shirt and they asked me about it. So I explained what PDF was and a little about Parkinson’s disease.
My son said, “Hey! That gives me an idea. Let’s donate the money we make to PDF to help Honey!” (Honey is their Grandmother who has Parkinson’s). They all agreed to donate it. I was very proud of them and think it is a great thing to do with their money!
Please accept the donation of $20.40 from my children’s lemonade stand.
SEFA Summer Show Supports PDF!
On June 29, 2012, the Queens ACCES-VR, SEFA Campaign Committee District Office put a spotlight on Parkinson’s Disease at its “SEFA Summer Show” in Corona, NY.
The Queens SEFA office is part of the charitable giving campaign for New York State employees. It has hosted the Summer Show fundraising event for the last eight years benefitting a variety of charities.
The Summer Show featured a 50/50 raffle of fun prizes, dancing and live music provided by the New York City Rhythm and Blues Ensemble. A band member who lives with Parkinson’s helped inspire SEFA to select PDF as this year’s beneficiary of funds raised at the event.
While the State Employees Federated Appeal's fundraising efforts are still underway, they hope to raise $2,500 for Parkinson's research
On October 9 in Concord, MA, family and friends celebrated the life of Ernest G. Spence with “Ernie’s Favorites,” a New England-style contra dance. Ernie Spence lived with Parkinson’s for 25 years and according to his family, “despite the devastating effects of Parkinson’s, he maintained his love of dance and life until he died.” In his honor, his family – including his wife Joan, their children and spouses, Linda D. Spence, Betsy Harlow (Reneé Harlow) and Harlan Spence (Gael Phillips-Spence), eight grandchildren, one great-grandchild and countless friends – brought the community together to dance the Chorus Jig and Money Musk, among others. Mr. Spence’s community connections were evident, with several musicians donating their time for the evening. Through “Ernie’s Favorites” and additional donations made in Mr. Spence’s honor, the family raised $5,630.
For Ali Shapiro Cudby, art has been a big part of her family tradition. When she decided to do something to honor both her mother Leslie Shapiro, a painter who lives with Parkinson’s disease, and her late grandfather, who also lived with Parkinson’s for many years, she chose to host an art show using 100 pieces of her own pottery. The event raised over $5,500! Ms. Cudby emphasized that it is the impact that Parkinson’s disease has had on two generations of her family, that has made her passionate about contributing to the cause.
She said, “My family has the unique perspective of seeing the amazing progress we have made over the years in treatments for Parkinson’s, from the time my grandfather was alive until now. This is why I believe it’s so important to raise funds for Parkinson’s research — to improve treatments and find a cure not just for my mom, but for other people living with Parkinson’s across the US.”
Nearly 200 music lovers and others dedicated to the fight against Parkinson's disease (PD) gathered for the 8th Annual Music for Parkinson's concert on December 5, 2010, at Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY. The event, organized by Music for Parkinson's Research, raised $37,000 in net proceeds for the research programs of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF).
The afternoon featured performances by several leading chamber music artists including John Stine, Gena Raps and the Attacca Quartet. After the concert, guests enjoyed a wine and cheese reception and chatted with the musicians. Music for Parkinson's was founded by three individuals, led by David Eger, Ph.D., who has worked with PDF for many years, in large part as an inaugural member of PDF's People with Parkinson's Advisory Council, a group that advises the foundation on its research, education and advocacy programs.
Dr. Eger noted, “We were thrilled by the support from friends, family, community members and PDF staff and board members who came together to help raise funds to find the cure for this disease.”
After Larry Strauss, an actor living in Southern California, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he found auditions to be challenging. It was difficult to hide his symptoms and to know when or how to tell a potential employer about his diagnosis. So he performed outreach work about issues of employment and Parkinson’s that led to a series of articles in a national industry publication.
He did not stop there and has since worked to publicize the cause amongst the casting community, his friends, family and neighbors. After Larry finished up his latest feature role in the film White Knuckles in July 2008, he convinced the producers to stage a special early-release screening of the film and donated the proceeds from ticket sales to PDF. He did the same for PDF in 2006, when he organized a dance event at a local night club and invited friends, family and colleagues. Then this past April, when friends threw him a birthday party, he asked that his friends make donations to PDF in lieu of gifts.
These events raised a total of over $3,000 and this was certainly welcome. But as Larry says, “Raising money is important, and we all have favorite hobbies or interests that can be turned into fundraising events. But there are other ways to contribute. The more awareness about Parkinson’s, the better.”
Jeni's Shuffle ~ Shake ~ Parkinson’s Awareness Celebrate
On April 14, 2012, PDF Champion Jeni Forshier-Jenkins of Sidney, IL, and friend Mary Jones shed a light on Parkinson’s at the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, IL with Shuffle ~ Shake ~ Parkinson’s Awareness Celebrate. The event benefitted PDF with more than $1,700 and educated local residents about Parkinson's.
Ms. Jenkins, now 48, was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s in 2008. After initially struggling to cope with her diagnosis, Ms. Jenkins decided to take action with longtime friend Mary, whose uncle also lived with Parkinson’s.
“We wanted to support families and give them hope by pulling together the vast amount of resources and information that are hard to obtain, in one area for one day,” says Ms. Jones.
At their event, guests could purchase sweet treats and other items from community businesses, Parkinson’s awareness cups and bracelets and find educational materials. There was also an auction.
Ms. Jenkins remarked, “When young people get diagnosed with Parkinson’s and life gets turned upside down, they don’t even know where to start. People of a younger age might feel alone because it’s not talked about as much. We can’t save the world with one fundraiser but we can make an impact in our community.”
In April 2011, Lisa Piccirillo of Westchester, NY, celebrated Parkinson’s Awareness Month with a “Happy Hour for Parkinson’s” at Enhanced Home in Port Chester.
Ms. Piccirillo became involved as a PDF Champion on behalf of her grandfather who lived with Parkinson’s for many years. As a music lover and regular attendee of 107.1 The Peak’s NEXT Music Show Happy Hour events, Ms. Piccirillo asked radio host Chris Bro to dedicate April’s event to raising funds and awareness for Parkinson’s. Mr. Bro agreed, and together they planned an evening of music, catered refreshments and prizes.
Attendees of the event were able to enjoy live performances by three local groups: the rock band Saint Bernadette, singer T Jay and The Knox Sisters. The event was free and open to the public, but funds were raised for PDF through donations and raffles. Among the prizes were gift baskets, gift certificates, and an Amazon Kindle with wifi.
Ms. Piccirillo said “My grandfather was a wonderful man, and my efforts to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s are in honor of his memory. I hope that this event will inspire those who participate to support the cause.”
In April 2011, PDF Champion Karen“KC” Veitch, of Keene State College in Keene, NH, brought Parkinson’s awareness to her campus by organizing, “Steps For a Cure.” About 60 students walked alongside Karen and were able to raise over $1,000 towards her quest for a cure.
As a member of Kappa Delta Phi sorority, Karen encouraged her sorority sisters and fellow students to partake in the walk for Parkinson’s, a disease that hits close to home for her. Karen’s father has lived with Parkinson’s for several years, so she wanted to do something for this personal cause. As she said, “The fight for a cure is close to my heart and I hope that this walk inspired those involved to support the cause. I hope that the funds I raised for PDF will help bring us closer to finding a cure.”
As a PDF Champion, Karen utilized PDF’s materials to educate fellow students on the disease. She provided educational pamphlets during the walk and PDF’s official Parkinson’s Awareness t-shirt.
PDF applauds Karen for bringing awareness of Parkinson’s to Keene State and for her successful fundraising efforts.
Ashley Runs 2012 Denver Rock n' Roll Marathon for Friend
On Saturday, September, 22, 2012, PDF Champion Ashley Garrett, of Pensacola, FL, was on the run for Parkinson’s research. She completed the 2012 Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon, raising more than $2,000 for PDF in honor of her best friend who lives with the disease.
The avid runner was motivated to take on the 26.2 mile challenge to raise awareness about young onset Parkinson’s after her friend, Randi Schultz of Denver, CO, was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 36.
“I’ve always been a runner, but now I will run with a purpose,” says Ms. Garrett.
She chose the Denver marathon so that her friend Ms. Schultz would be able to cheer her on. Ms Garrett remarks, “Randi is a big part of who I have become today. She is proud and humbled that I endeavored to take this on and I hope that by running, I can raise awareness about young onset Parkinson’s.”
Visit Ashley's Fundraising Page
Jennifer's Rock n' Roll Marathon for PDF
On April 28, 2012, PDF Champion Jennifer Neathery of Huntsville, AL, hit the ground running for Parkinson’s Awareness Month. She ran the St. Jude Country Music Marathon, raising $925 for PDF … and inspiring many.
Her motivation for taking on a 26.2 mile challenge: raise awareness about Parkinson’s and show that “no matter what your circumstances are, you can do anything you set your mind to.” It is especially meaningful for Ms. Neathery who was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s in 2005 at the age of 32.
“I decided I would run to challenge myself and prove that Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have to mean giving up being active and living a good life,” says Ms. Neathery.
She also wanted to raise the profile of Parkinson's in her community where young onset support groups are not widely available.
“Not everyone who has Parkinson’s is in their 60s or 70s. It affects a lot of different people in a lot of different ways. I hope that if I can help more people recognize that, they might be more motivated and willing to help raise money to fund a cure,” she says.
Thank you Jennifer and congratulations!
On March 25, 2012, Mel Stewart of Steamboat Springs, CO, took his love of mountain biking to new heights. He embarked on the eight day ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike race in South Africa, raising $5,900 for PDF in memory of his father.
Mr. Stewart’s father suffered with Parkinson’s for ten years before passing away in 2010. “My dad was a very active guy. He really enjoyed working outdoors. As his Parkinson’s progressed, those activities became more difficult,” says Mr. Stewart. “If I can do anything to help educate people on the disease and how to find better treatments for it, I will. I’d like to see a day where we can look back and say, we’ve got a cure.”
An avid mountain biker, Mr. Stewart has completed long range races before but never one of this magnitude. His eight-day Cape Epic race included more than 485 miles and a climb of approximately 50,000 feet.
PDF thanks him for his support and inspiring efforts!
On October 22, Pamela Strom hosted the first Standup to Parkinson's Race, a SUP-o-Run, duathlon and awareness event in Newport Beach, CA. She also became the first PDF Champion to hold an event focused on standup paddle boarding. Ms. Strom became involved with PDF because of her inspiration, her mother-in-law who lives with Parkinson’s. Around the same time her mother-in-law was diagnosed, Ms. Strom was becoming an active standup paddle boarder. She decided to use her new hobby to organize an event to honor her mother-in-law and others living with Parkinson’s. She coordinated a daylong event that included paddleboard races, foot races, refreshments, music and prizes. She brought on board corporate sponsors and raised funds online and through t-shirt sales. To find out more, visit her Facebook page.
James Knowles of Norwalk, CT, completed the ING New York City Marathon on November 7, raising $4,175 for Parkinson’s research. This far surpassed his original goal of $3,500.
James ran the 26.2-mile race in honor of his mother who lives with Parkinson’s.
As he said, “I ran to raise money for this great charity, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, whose good works are so important to so many people affected by this disease. Your generosity will go a lot further than I did on marathon Sunday.”
In late June, Philadelphia, PA, resident Rachel Isenberg climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, in northeastern Tanzania — the highest mountain in Africa — to benefit the research programs of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) with more than $3,500.
An instructor in English as a Second Language and a tennis professional, Ms. Isenberg first raised funds for PDF’s programs in 2010 by running a half marathon in Philadelphia. This year, joined by a college friend, she completed her climb over five days. The pair traveled through rainforest and tundra and climbed through the night. Ms. Isenberg received donations from friends and family to her personal webpage on www.pdf.org, all of which will support PDF’s programs.
She said, “My grandfather had Parkinson’s late in his life and my mother currently struggles with it, so the fight against Parkinson’s is close to my heart. I’m grateful for the funds I was able to raise for PDF with the support of my dear family and friends.”
Max Adelman of Atlanta, GA, held “Plunge Against Parkinson’s,” a swimming event, on July 31, 2011. His event raised over $2,000!
Max, 12, decided to use his love of swimming to help the Parkinson’s cause because his grandfather has lived with the disease for many years. He rounded up people of all different ages from his neighborhood pool to attend his “Plunge Against Parkinson’s” event. Before the day’s swimming began, Max delivered a speech about how Parkinson’s had affected his grandfather throughout the years. He emphasized how at first his grandfather’s symptoms were not too noticeable, but that they had made life more difficult for him in recent years.
All together, the children who attended Max’s event swam 23 miles. Everyone received a certificate of achievement at the end of the swim. Max noted, “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do something to help my grandfather. I’ve seen how Parkinson’s has affected him and I know how important it is to raise money that will help fight this disease.”
Thank you Max!
In June 2011, Sonja Vorwald of Fort Myers, FL, brought Parkinson’s awareness to her town by holding a charity bowling event, appropriately called “Strike Out Parkinson’s.”
After Ms. Vorwald’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she started to look for ways to become involved with fundraising in her town. After realizing that there were no Parkinson’s events in Fort Myers, Ms. Vorwald decided to get the ball rolling and create her own. Ms. Vorwald and her husband, who runs the Fort Myers Baseball League, inspired the league to host their fundraising event.
Ms. Vorwald got involved with the PDF Champions program and was able to hold a successful event that included a bowling tournament, games, prizes and half-price refreshments to benefit PDF and bring awareness of the disease to Fort Myers. Ms. Vorwald said, “I hope that this event succeeded in raising awareness of Parkinson’s in the city of Fort Myers, and I hope that the funds that I raised for PDF will help bring us closer to finding a cure.”
In June 2011, PDF Champion Diane Banks held the Sixth Annual Golf Fundraiser at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Macomb, MI to benefit PDF.
Ms. Banks became involved in Parkinson’s fundraising because her father lives with the disease. She couldn’t find any local fundraising events, so she decided to organize one for the area. Taking herfather’s love of golf into consideration, she reached out to a local business - Academy 4 Lil' Angels - which holds an annual golf fundraiser. The businessagreed to dedicate the 2011 golf outing to Parkinson’s.
The golf outing included unlimited refreshments on the course, lunch, a buffet dinner, and prizes. Ms. Banks provided PDF educational materials to help educate her guests about Parkinson’s. Tickets were sold at $100 per person to raise funds for PDF. She said, “This event provides an opportunity to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease through an activity that my father loves: golf. I hope that we can continue holding this fundraising event in future years and make a sustained effort in educating the community about Parkinson’s.”
This past summer, Doug Bahniuk of Cleveland, Ohio, completed “Doug’s Wild Ride,” a solo six-day, 400 mile bicycle ride across Alaska. In the process, he also raised $33,000 for Parkinson’s research!
Mr. Bahniuk, 57, has lived with PD for 10 years and has been cycling since the age of three. He has become committed to working for the Parkinson’s cause, in part by becoming a PDF research advocate (he graduated from the Clinical Research Learning Institute in 2008). He has also organized several events to raise awareness for PD that involve his passions for cycling and exercise. He chose the remote Alaskan course for his latest ride, both because of its beauty and the challenge it presented.
On July 8, 2010 he began his Alaskan ride in Anchorage. He reached Fairbanks nearly a week later, having traveled the entire route alone. As he put it, “I wanted to both let people know what it’s like to live with the challenges of Parkinson’s and to bring attention to the fact that we can help to combat the disease through exercise and a positive attitude.”
The proceeds from “Doug’s Wild Ride” were shared between PDF and the Davis Phinney Foundation. Thank you Doug!
Personal trainer Ann Savio-Affinito found her inspiration by bringing together her professional passion and her desire to fight PD. Her motivation comes from the experience of her late father, Guy Savio, who battled with the disease.
Ann’s most in-demand class at Renaissance Club Sports in Walnut Creek, CA, has been body sculpting. So, with the support of her fitness club, she promoted a one-day class called “Pump it up for Parkinson’s” — from which proceeds have supported PDF’s programs.
She raised over $600 from her class. Sadly, Ann’s father passed away in June, but not before he found out about her event.
As she said, “I wanted to raise awareness and I’m a fitness trainer by trade. It is something I enjoy and I’m good at so why not use it to raise awareness? You hear about cancer and heart disease, but not a lot about PD. Helping to change that hit home for me.”
When Kate Jaggard called the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) to discuss raising money by running a marathon in honor of her mother, PDF staff showed her how to create her own page on the PDF website (www.pdf.org) to raise awareness and funds for her project.
Kate immediately set up her page, but she and her fellow runner, her father Bruce, kept the website and their entire project a secret from her mother, Alice. Kate’s mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease around 2002. Despite her diagnosis, Alice continued life as usual, never complaining to her family about how the disease impacted her life.
After several months of training and creative efforts by Kate and her Dad in publicizing their race, they told her mom about their plans. Not only did they tell her about it; they also showed her by revealing their personalized webpages (they had two because of a friendly father/daughter fundraising competition). On each of the pages, numerous friends and family had left touching comments about the role Kate’s mom plays in their lives — quotes like, “Kate, your mom is one of a kind!,” and, “I think the world of your mom!” Alice was touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her family.
On November 2, 2008, Kate and her Dad ran the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon in four hours and 11 minutes, while her mom cheered them on. The pay-off, from the generosity of their family and friends, totaled $5,613 to support Parkinson’s research, education and advocacy.
Kate said of her experience, “I see how frustrating the symptoms of Parkinson’s can be and admire my mother’s strength and courage as she lives with this disease. I wanted to show support for her, but I was never sure how. PDF made it so simple to be able to combine my dad’s and my love for running with our love for my mom.”
On August 13, 2008, family and friends of Lenny Zwick gathered at The Farms Country Club in Wallingford, CT, for the Second Annual Zwick Pro-Am, a golf tournament designed to raise funds for programs supported by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF).
Attendees honored friend Lenny Zwick, who had passed away a month earlier. Mr. Zwick, who lived with Parkinson’s disease (PD) for 25 years, had been a member of the club for over 30 years. An avid golfer, he was active on the links until 2006 and maintained close friendships with club members and staff. His battle with PD led one friend, golf pro Jim Hanlon, to organize the first Zwick Pro-Am in 2007.
This year’s event included 18 holes of golf as well as a pre-tournament luncheon, a silent auction and an awards dinner. 25 teams of five golfers competed throughout the day and gathered afterwards to celebrate and remember their friend.
The 2008 Zwick Pro-Am raised over $80,000 for PDF’s research, education and advocacy programs. Mr. Zwick’s daughter Stacey, told PDF News & Review, “It was so fortunate that my father was able to see the first tournament a year ago, and so touching that the club will continue the event in his honor. Not many of us get to leave a legacy like that.”
As Karen and Brian Staron prepared to run their first half-marathon, they knew it would be a challenge. For Karen, however, who has watched her mom live with Parkinson’s disease (PD) for over 25 years, the training was “nothing compared to the challenges that my mom faces daily, and has faced almost my whole life.”
Karen’s mom, LaVerne, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1981 at the age of 43, when Karen was only six years old. When the households of Karen and her mother merged three years ago, Karen experienced in greater depth the daily realities of PD, such as the complexity of managing medications.
This only further increased her admiration of her mother’s spirit. Karen and Brian knew that friends were developing a new local half-marathon — the Palos Bank Southwest Half Marathon — that would run through the nearby south side of Chicago.
When 2008 was announced as the year for its launch, Karen and Brian decided to combine their running goal with raising funds for a very personal cause — Parkinson’s— in honor of LaVerne.
By the time Karen and Brian completed the race on Sunday, May 4th, they had raised an impressive $2,626 for PDF’s research programs — more than double their original goal!
A few months ago, Maggie Simpson wasn’t a runner, nor was she affiliated with PDF. However, she had a big heart, a history of “giving back,” and a stepfather, to whom she pointed as her inspiration.
By November 10, 2007, Maggie had completed her first road race, eight kilometers long (4.96 miles) and had raised more than $3,000 for PDF.
Maggie’s mother, Priscilla, has long been involved in philanthropic events for worthy causes such as AIDS and breast cancer. Maggie realized that she wanted to do the same for a cause much closer to her heart — Parkinson’s disease. Maggie’s stepfather Bobby has been living with PD for eight years.
Bobby’s courage in the face of PD inspired Maggie to get involved and to help find a cure. She chose the “NTELOS 8K,” a road race that travels the neighborhoods of Richmond , VA , as her fundraising vehicle. Then she hit the Internet for training tips, created a disciplined schedule, put on her shoes and began to run.
In addition to generating awareness and needed funds for PD, Maggie found herself continuing a family tradition of philanthropy and winning the enthusiastic support of her community.
Thank you to all of our PDF Champions for your spectacular commitment to PD research, education and advocacy!
On August 11, 2010, 100 golfers gathered at the Farms Country Club in Wallingford, CT, for the Fourth Annual Zwick Pro-Am.
Named for long-time club member Lenny Zwick, who lived with Parkinson’s for 25 years, the tournament featured 18 holes, a luncheon, a silent auction and an awards dinner. Among the friends and family of Mr. Zwick who participated were his wife Susan, daughter Stacey and event organizer Dave Melillo.
The Pro-Am raised over $50,000 to benefit the research programs of PDF.
Mother and daughter, Susan (left) and Stacey Zwick with Dave Melillo at the Fourth Annual Zwick Pro-Am.
On June 22, 2010, over 100 friends of PDF gathered on the east end of Long Island, NY, for Tour for a Cure, choosing one of two festive events — 18 holes of golf or a tour of Long Island's finest wineries with the East End Wine Tasting. Golfers and wine tasters reunited for a buffet dinner, raffles, a silent auction and an awards ceremony — raising nearly $25,000 for PDF’s programs.
From left: Brett Joshpe, Jeff Radov, PDF Executive Director Robin Elliott and Josh Bernstein.
Several months ago, Jennifer Iaccarino approached the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) with a lofty goal. She wanted to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s by running the New York City Marathon. Using her own creative strategies and those offered through the PDF Champions Program, on November 1, she braved the 26.2 mile course and achieved her goal!
PDF Champion, Jennifer Iaccarino and her family, after she completed the ING NYC Marathon.
Jennifer, who hails from Trumbull, CT, wanted to run for PD because she saw the impact that the disease had on several close friends who lived with it. She chose the New York City Marathon as her Champion event, both because of the physical challenge it would present and because of the festive atmosphere the event brings to New York.
A former professional fundraiser who once worked for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Jennifer worked hard to get the word out by sending emails and letters to friends, family and neighbors. Through her personal fundraising webpage on PDF’s website, she raised over $3,500 for PDF’s programs of research, education and advocacy!
As she tells us, “I am amazed at how people have responded to my outreach with such generosity. Everyone has realized just how badly we need a cure for this disease and with donations from family and friends, I have far surpassed my original goal. I hope my contributions bring us closer to beating Parkinson’s.”
PDF congratulates Jennifer and thanks her for her support!
Tammy's Cut-a-Thon Honors Mom
On February 11, 2012, Tammy Kozumplik of Holt, MI, used her hair styling talents to raise awareness and funds for PDF by hosting a Cut-a-Thon at her salon, Holt Hair and Nails.
Since Ms. Kozumplik’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 15 years ago, she has held the cause close to her heart. She has looked for ways to get involved, whether by learning more about Parkinson’s or making small donations. Upon opening her salon Holt Hair and Nails this past August, she saw it as, “another great opportunity to pay it forward.”
She and her four stylists donated five dollars to PDF from each cut and styling service provided between 10 AM and 6 PM. The Cut-a-Thon also featured a silent auction, with all proceeds benefitting PDF, through which cstomers bid on prizes that included gift certificates for services at the salon, a family meal out at a pizzeria and a free oil change at a car dealer.
Ms. Kozumplik says she is committed to raising awareness and funds. She remarks, “I’m doing this to raise money for research, so research can thrive. That’s what’s most important to me.”
As an Amtrak conductor for 18 years, Chris Waugh met people from all walks of life. Through one of these chance encounters, he became a unique kind of “PDF Champion:” a fashion designer!
About two years ago, Chris met Tina Lutz, a regular passenger on the Amtrak route from Kingston, RI to New Haven, CT. Over time, the two shared stories about their lives, careers and families — including Chris’s wife Cathy and their two children, and his father, who lives with Parkinson’s disease (PD).
They also chatted often about Tina’s fashion design company, Lutz & Patmos, and its seasonal guest designers — among them, Sofia Coppola, Liv Tyler and Julianne Moore. Each guest designer created an item of clothing and designated a charity to receive a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of that item.
As Tina and Chris talked one day, Chris quipped half-jokingly, “If you’re looking for a guest designer — I’m here, ready, willing and able.” Little did he know that Tina would take him seriously and would sign him up to be the next guest designer.
Over several train rides to New Haven, the two chatted about Chris’s ideas for a women’s sweater (developed with 13-year old daughter, Brooke, in mind). As Chris described his thoughts, Tina would sketch them. As the design neared completion, Chris told Tina that he wanted the charity portion of his sweater sales to be used to support the fight against Parkinson’s, in honor of his father.
What started out as a casual conversation has now become a reality. Chris’ cashmere, hooded sweater is now available in stores nationwide, where $20 of each purchased item will go to support PDF’s mission of research, education and advocacy.
Chris found the entire process to be a wonderful experience for his whole family, including his father. To order your sweater and support PDF, please visit, www.lutzandpatmos.com.