My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 10 years ago. He was 54. The disease has had an impact on our entire family.

Nine years ago we participated in our first Parkinson’s walk. After five years of walking, we knew we could do more.

With the support of family and friends we organized a silent auction fundraiser. The owner of our local restaurant, The Station, is very helpful and offers us a great price on the buffet we offer as part of the event.

Many local businesses have responded to our donation requests over the years and friends and family add baskets to the mix. Each year we make more money than the year before.  A highlight this year was the addition of a live auction that went over very well. We also had a bowling benefit at the local bowling alley.

Kids are also part of the event. We have a PLINKO- type game with gifts donated by a friend with connections with the movie industry.

In the past we have had entertainment at the auction and a party bus with games and stopovers at local bars. We are continually attempting to reach more people. Each year we try something new to add to the fun.

People often ask about planning. I start thinking about next year’s event as soon as the current year’s event is completed.  I start organizing in the fall and our small group of five women meets in January to go over our plans. Another local family affected by Parkinson’s has joined in and helped with the live auction this year. It takes a little pushing on my part to get us moving, but each event has been a success.

We have raised more than $30,000 for NPFM in the four years we have held our benefit. Our goal is to raise awareness in our community and raise funds for Parkinson’s.

As the slogan says, we’re doing whatever it takes to beat Parkinson’s.

Claire Austin
Team Captain
Stomping Out Parkinson’s