Champions in Action

Paddle Boarder Asks Community to “Stand Up to Parkinson’s” 

Pamela Strom, Susie Prestie (Credit – Cynthia Servais)




T-Shirt design – David Ruch and Jeff Warner

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.

Spence Family Dances to “Ernie’s Favorites”

Joan and Ernie Vance

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.

Join the PDF Champions “30 in 30” Challenge this coming April

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month.  PDF Champions plan to hold 30 events in 30 days to benefit Parkinson's research.  Will you join them?  Events can range from a lemonade stand, to a bake sale to running a marathon! 
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