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Around & About the Community

PDF Thanks Retiring Board Members

On January 17, the Board of Directors of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) said farewell to two valued members: Cynthia Flood and Earl Ubell.

Cynthia Flood has served on the PDF Board, along with her husband, Stephen B. Flood, for more than a decade. The couple knows the disease all too well, as Stephen was diagnosed with Parkinson's over 10 years ago. Mrs. Flood, who now resides in Florida with her husband, became acquainted with PDF when they lived in Westchester County, New York. Her contributions to the Board included both generous personal support and substantial involvement in the success of PDF's annual gala, Bal du Printemps. Her husband Stephen will continue to serve on the Board.

Earl Ubell, a PDF Board member since 1996, is one of the most respected science and health writers in America. He began his career in various capacities as a reporter and editor with the New York Herald Tribune. He continued with a television career that included several years with CBS and a post at NBC News as Director of TV News. Mr. Ubell is also a past health editor of the nationally-distributed Parade magazine. As someone who has lived with Parkinson's for more than 10 years, Mr. Ubell brought to the Board a strong personal conviction and determination to fund the most promising PD research. He has also given valuable assistance in framing and disseminating news of Parkinson's disease science and research developments - including helping PDF staff to stage several science news seminars in the late-1990s.

PDF thanks these inspiring individuals for their gifts of time, expertise and support. It is with the commitment of people like Cynthia Flood and Earl Ubell that we will be successful in reaching our goal of ending Parkinson's.

Light of Day Goes Global

For the past six years, music manager and promoter Bob Benjamin has celebrated his birthday by bringing to his home state of New Jersey Light of Day, a series of rock-and-roll concerts that he conceived, organizes and presents along with The Light of Day Foundation, Inc. and Concerts East. Over the years, the concerts have raised a total of more than $400,000 for PDF and other charities.

This year, Bob, who lives with Parkinson's, took the concerts global with four shows in New Jersey, one in Rome, Italy and a final show in Los Angeles. The results were astounding - $150,000 was raised this year alone for PDF and chapters of the ALS Association.

The anchor event of the 2005 series was the traditional three-day show that kicked off on Friday, November 4, at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and continued on Saturday and Sunday at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. The Friday concert stretched into the late evening hours, featuring performances from local favorites Gary US Bonds, Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg and Southside Johnny. As the venue changed on Saturday, attendees were treated to a night of good old rock-and-roll led by Joe Grushecky, a Light of Day regular and a close friend of Bob. Sunday's "Writers in the Raw" attraction was an added twist, with acoustic performances by Grushecky, Pete Yorn, Jeffrey Gaines, Jesse Malin and more. The audience was thrilled by the intimate nature of the setting, with the artists talking candidly about their personally-written songs and music.

Bob's European debut took place at the Big Mama club in Rome, Italy on November 22. The show kept true to Light of Day's Jersey Shore roots, with the introduction of a book on Bruce Springsteen, and followed through with rocking performances by Lorenzo "Miami" Semprini; brothers Andrea and Tony Montecalvo and their band The Backstreets; and Antonio Zirilli with his band Thundercrack.

To close out the year, Light of Day headed where all stars end up: Hollywood. Crowds packed the House of Blues in West Hollywood on Monday, December 12 to hear a stellar lineup of artists including Dave Alvin, Jakob Dylan, Shane Fontayne and Lucinda Williams. The end result was a smash hit that even Tinseltown will not soon forget!

PDF thanks Bob and all of the wonderful performers and people who worked on this and past year's events. We are truly grateful to have a friend with such a giving and determined spirit.

Caregiver Survey Launched

At the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF), we take our role as a source of information and support seriously - not just for those who have Parkinson's disease, but also the people who live with it every day as caregivers. To help us understand more about the PD caregiver population and to deliver needed resources of high quality, we have launched the PDF Caregiver Initiative. The first phase of the PDF Caregiver Initiative began in February with a comprehensive survey posted on our website, If you are a caregiver, visit to fill out a survey and help us discover how we can best help you!

Stay tuned this summer to hear about the results of this survey, and our next steps at PDF in using this information to serve caregivers. This first phase of the PDF Caregiver Initiative has been supported through an educational grant from EMD Pharmaceuticals.