Archive for the "Parkinson’s Friendly Events" Category

Volunteer at Moving Day® 2015

We’re looking for a few good volunteers to help at our 2015 Moving Day® on May 2 in Plymouth.

Interested in giving a few hours of your time to help us with our largest fundraising event of the year? Sign up now!


Moving Day® Kickoff Breakfast

breakfast-inviteGet ready for Moving Day® 2015 by attending our annual kickoff breakfast on Friday, February 27!

The event will be held at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley from 7:30-9 a.m.

The event is free and will feature several guest speakers to help raise excitement for Moving Day® on May 2.

A continental breakfast will be served.

A RSVP is required for the event. Get your spot now by emailing or calling 763.545.1272.


Moving Day® 2015

Twin Cities Moving Day® annual fundraiser, is just around the corner!

The event will take place on May 2, 2015 at the Hilde Center and Park in Plymouth.

It will be an exciting day filled with movement, education and camaraderie for those living with and impacted by Parkinson’s. Proceeds benefit the National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota’s mission to improve the lives of those living with PD through education, outreach and grant work. In 2014 we raised over $231,000 and we’re setting the bar even higher for 2015 with a goal of $250,000.

Come join the fun! Register your team now:

PD Shimmers Lights Neighborhood, Raises Awareness












You don’t have to look far to find lights in neighborhood yards to celebrate the holiday season.

But for a man in Plymouth, the yard display goes beyond helping his neighborhood brighten for the holidays.

Mike Justak, founder of PD Shimmers, lights up his neighborhood each year with a special message: 58,000 lights shining bright, representing the number of people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year.

Mike was diagnosed with PD several years ago, which is why the lights and number are important to him. After seeing a video online about light presentations he was hooked, and started making plans to create his own.

Year one saw just 8,000 lights in his presentation. It is now 58,000 and eight neighbors joining in the fun. The entire presentation is synchronized to music, broadcast on its very own radio station. Mike has even set up a live stream so those unable to attend can still enjoy the show.

The show runs daily from 5-10 p.m. at 4320 Ithaca Lane North in Plymouth.

For more information or to watch the live stream, visit


lights-web mike-shimmers


Willmar Pedal and Roll

Willmar Pedal and RollThe National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota (NPFM) is excited to work with Pedal and Roll for Parkinson’s for a two-day event in Willmar on August 21-22.

The event, hosted as a part of the NPFM Parkinson-Friendly Communities initiative through a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, will take place in the community on the evening of Thursday, August 21 and morning of Friday, August 22.

Thursday evening, Pedal and Roll founder and Parkinson patient Liz Ogren will speak to the community at Club Bethesda from 6:30-8 p.m. about living with a diagnosis and the benefits of exercise.

On Friday morning, the community will have an opportunity to put Liz’s exercise ideas into motion with a Pedal and Roll event at Robbins Island. From 10 a.m.-noon participants can ride their bikes around the island, or use one of the special adaptive bikes provided by Pedal and Roll to get out and get active. Participants are encouraged to bring their own helmets, and light snacks and beverages will be provided.

Informational poster: Willmar Pedal and Roll


Night Out for Parkinson’s – East

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – The National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota held its annual Night Out for Parkinson’s on Thursday evening at the Mendakota Country Club.

Over 70 people turned out for an evening that included dinner, silent auction and a chance to catch up with those involved in the Parkinson community. Dr. Okeanis Vaou served as the guest speaker for the evening, discussing pain associated with Parkinson’s and how to cope.

We would like to thank those who attended, along with our silent auction and raffle winners.

Be sure to check for updates on all of our upcoming events.






2014 Night Out for Parkinson's East


















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The National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota (NPFM) is the Minnesota chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF). We are a local nonprofit raising awareness and funds for the Upper Midwest Parkinson’s community.  As a strong organization with a rich history, we are growing to enhance our leadership and community relationships, enable Parkinson’s providers to deliver more services and therapies, and to empower patients and families with Parkinson’s information and resources.

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St. Paul offers Parkinson’s-friendly class at Phalen Rec

Congratulations to the City of St. Paul Park and Rec Department and HealthEast Capistrant Center for working together to bring Parkinson’s-friendly classes to the Park and Rec calendar.

Starting July 9 the city is offering a Parkinson’s-friendly Tai Chi Chih class Wednesday mornings at Phalen Rec Center. More information and registration details are found here.

NPFM is working to highlight Parkinson’s-friendly exercise opportunities across the region. Do you have a favorite Parkinson’s-friendly exercise we should check out? Let us know at

People with Parkinson’s tell us– and research proves–movement is medicine. Movement is key to treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. NPFM’s Persons with Parkinson’s Advisory Board is working to identify Parkinson’s-friendly exercise classes and programs throughout the state. The list is growing!

Note: These programs are listed for information sharing only. Please consult your movement disorders specialist and care team before beginning any exercise program. Although the programs below have been identified as “Parkinson’s friendly” by people with Parkinson’s, they are not certified or approved by NPFM.

Annual Walk is more than just a walk for the Austins

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

Online auction, public television premiere, special donors and more highlight Parkinson’s Awareness Month activities; You’re invited!

Parkinson’s awareness month is the perfect time to help friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues and others learn more about what it takes to live well with Parkinson’s disease.  And NPFM is here to help. 

Living with Parkinson’s premieres April 22 at the Galleria Edina. People with Parkinson’s and their families, health care providers, volunteers and others are featured throughout this 26-minute video produced by NPFM in cooperation with Twin Cities Public Television and the Capistrant Parkinson’s Foundation.  The premiere is 5 to 7 p.m. at Barnes and Noble located at the east end of the Galleria Edina. Refreshments will be served. Invite your friends and family to join you for this special evening. RSVP to help us plan accordingly. TPT describes the documentary-style video saying that although the phrase “you have Parkinson’s” is difficult to hear, “for many Minnesotans, this diagnosis leads to a new stage of life with valued relationships and personal growth.”

Following the premiere, author Susan Gangsei will be signing her new book, Stuck with it, Not in It…Redefining Life with Parkinson’s Disease. The book features stories of hope from people throughout the Parkinson’s community. This is Gangsei’s second book. Her first, The Light in the Middle of the Tunnel, features personal stories about Gangsei’s experiences as a care partner.

Parkinson’s Awareness Month is also the time of year when NPFM celebrates the Parkinson’s community and thanks those who do whatever it takes to beat Parkinson’s.  We started the month at the City of Minneapolis City Council meeting where the Council read a resolution proclaiming April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  The resolution was followed by our annual Evening Out for Parkinson’s West, an evening of good food, music, a silent auction and medical update. Once again people with Parkinson’s, family and friends didn’t let a Minnesota snow storm stop them from enjoying a beautiful evening.

KARE11’s Dave Schwartz is taking advantage of Parkinson’s Awareness Month to raise awareness and funds for NPFM with Buy Dave’s Ties. Schwartz and his family have been personally affected by Parkinson’s and in honor of his grandmother, Sylvia, he will be wearing a new Hammer-Made silk tie during every weekend broadcast through April 19. Each tie is being auctioned off on eBay and NPFM receives all proceeds.  Follow the auction on the NPFM Facebook page or search Buy Dave’s Ties on eBay. And thank you to Hammer Made for donating the gorgeous ties again this year.

Next week, April 15 to be exact, the 35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge will glow blue in honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. You’ll see three shades of NPF blue and Medtronic’s blue on the bridge.  NPFM is excited to have our partner Medtronic as part of this event. While bridge is shining, NPFM is celebrating its Top Parkinson’s Philanthropists. These regular, yet very special people will be highlighted in our social media telling their own story about why they raise money for Parkinson’s and why they chose to give to NPFM. Their stories are your stories.  We believe they will help make communities more Parkinson-friendly.  Again, watch our Facebook page for details.

And finally, we end our awareness month activities with our biggest fund raising and fun-filled event of the year, Moving Day Twin Cities, our annual walk for Parkinson’s. Find out more here, register your team and join us May 3 at beautiful Hilde Park in Plymouth.

NPFM staff and volunteers have been working to celebrate Parkinson’s Awareness Month and take advantage of the opportunity to draw attention to Parkinson’s. What do you do to help create more awareness about Parkinson’s in our communities? Please share your ideas.

-Eileen Smith

NPFM Board President


Parkinson’s and DBS: Fargo hosts seminar

Our friends in the Parkinson’s-Friendly Community of Fargo, N.D., recently hosted a seminar for local residents to learn more about the Deep Brain Stimulation procedure and how it may help some people with Parkinson’s. Here’s the seminar in three components:

Presentation Part 1

Presentation Part 2

Presentation Part 3

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