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Around and About the Community

Racing for a Cure at the Carnegie Center 5K & Fun Run

Almost 400 runners, walkers, and volunteers gathered on Saturday, October 4, 2003 in West Windsor, New Jersey for the Carnegie Center 5K and Fun Run to raise funds for The Parkinson's Alliance.

It was an early, chilly start as young runners set-off in the one-mile Fun Run, while parents and adults tackled the 5K.

The event raised a magnificent $44,000 for Parkinson's research - the most successful year ever! Special thanks to commercial real estate broker Jerry Fennelly and his family, Boston Properties and everyone who participated in making the event a huge success.

Springsteen and Fox Rock "Light of Day" Concert for the PDF

Bruce Springsteen and Michael J. Fox thrilled audiences when they performed together on Saturday, November 1, at the fourth annual "Light of Day" concert. The two-day concert was held at the Stone Pony club in Asbury Park, N.J. and raised $100,000 for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Although Springsteen was not scheduled to perform, he joined the band Garland Jeffreys in a guitar solo and later jammed with long-time friend Joe Grushecky and his band, the "Houserockers", for the last hour of the sold-out concert. Fox joined the group to play the guitar and sing "Light of Day", which is also the name of a 1987 movie starring Fox.

Grushecky's manager, along with Bob Benjamin, a friend of Springsteen who lives with Parkinson's, have organized the event for the last four years to celebrate Benjamin's birthday. The team was credited for its expert event management as guests enjoyed a seamless flow of music. Our special thanks go to Bob for his unwavering and deeply appreciated commitment to raising funds for PDF.

Surprise Wrestling Match Benefits PDF

Ringside seats were packed on November 8, 2003 as a crowd of friends and supporters paid their respects to Jim Cecil at a surprise benefit wrestling match in St. Amant, LA. Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson's six years ago.

The event was planned in secret by Jim's business partner, Cody Meche. Two years ago, they established the Mid-South Championship Wrestling to stage and promote wrestling events in the region. Jim's Parkinson's forced his early retirement from the venture but Cody was determined not to let his good friend and business partner disappear quietly. Instead, friends and sponsors helped to hatch a plan. The surprise final show turned out to be a truly special gift: a magnificent tribute for Jim and a winning donation of $1,000 for PDF to help fund Parkinson's research.

Heartfelt thanks go to Cody Meche and everyone who made the event a success - especially, the wrestlers who donated their time and Bronco Bob, who bought the company's ring and donated its use for this special occasion.

Carnaval at the Copa - a Sizzling Success!

The goal: to raise awareness of Parkinson's disease, especially among young professionals in the metropolitan area, and raise funds for Parkinson's disease research while having so much fun that everyone will want to do it again.

The result: "Carnaval at the Copa" held on an extreme-rainy and wind-swept Wednesday evening, November 19, at the spectacular new Copacabana venue accomplished 'the goal' in no short order and was roundly proclaimed 'a rousing success' by everyone who attended!

Peter Dorn, owner of the Copa, host and co-chair of the evening is excited about next year's event-along with about 640 others in attendance! The 35-member volunteer steering committee with co-chairs Doug Stern, Robin Rogers, Steve Seisser and Peter Dorn with Sharon Stone, PDF coordinator, join in thanking each and everyone who helped make this 'first ever' event so wonderful: 'Soul Solution' - the band that rocked New York!; Bruce Beck, emcee extraordinaire; friends, corporate sponsors and the many individuals and companies who contributed to the auction and raffle. Our stars - Aaron Buerge, everybody's 'Bachelor!' and Audra Lynn, everybody's Bunny - were wonderful and we thank them too.

The event proceeds exceeded $200,000 thanks to the magnificent matching donation from Cynthia Zirinksy. Plans are underway for a replay of the event sometime this fall. Stay tuned!

Cursus Cerebro - Race for the Brain

Saturday, October 4, 2003 marked the second successful year of Cursus Cerebro, a 5K race in Westport, CT. The race is the innovation of Sean Stewart, a sophomore (and Latin scholar!) in high school, who each year has organized the event as a tribute to his father, John Stewart, who has Parkinson's.

This year, Sean's goal was to beat last year's fundraising record and continue to raise much-needed awareness of Parkinson's. He succeeded on both accounts, raising more than $7,000 for Parkinson's research and engaging over 50 willing participants.

Sean, when writing about the event in his letter said, "It is my belief that any little bit we can do to fight PD, whether it be through giving money or time, is invaluable to bringing us closer to a cure". His indomitable spirit is an inspiration to us all.

Deepdale Golf Outing Raises $475,000!

This annual golf tournament - believed to be the single most successful golfing event ever to benefit Parkinson's research - scored a second win for Parkinson's research and advocacy activities in September 2003. Led by Bob Greenberg, Steve Witkoff and the indefatigable Ed Levy, the event this year honored Vincent Tese. More than 100 golfers enjoyed the challenging course at Deepdale country club on Long Island. Thank you to everyone who made the event a success. Funds benefited the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, the Edwin Levy Foundation, Beth Israel Medical Center, the Parkinson's Action Network and the PDF.