NEW YORK, April 29 With spring in the air and spring in their step, more than 10,000 people joined forces to help raise funds for Parkinson's disease research on Saturday, April 24, at the 16th Parkinson's Unity Walk in New York's Central Park. This year's participants included teams from across the country and comprised the largest grassroots initiative in the U.S. for Parkinson's disease research. To date, the Unity Walk has raised more than $1.2 million and donations for this year's walk will be accepted through June 1, 2010.
The 2010 Parkinson's Unity Walk was dedicated in memory of Margot Zobel, who passed away earlier this year. Zobel, who had Parkinson's disease herself, began the walk in 1994 with 200 participants and helped to grow the walk over the following 15 years, leading to last year's event that drew more than 10,000 participants who raised $1.5 million for research.
"The Unity Walk continues to be such an inspiring experience, seeing so many people come together in support of our efforts to educate the community and find a cure for Parkinson's disease," said Carol Walton, executive director of the Parkinson's Unity Walk and CEO of The Parkinson Alliance. "We deeply missed Margot this year, but the inspiration she brought to this walk continues and I know she would be proud of the great work we've accomplished in her honor."
Since the beginning of the Unity Walk, 100 percent of all funds raised have been designated for research and are distributed among the major U.S. Parkinson's disease foundations, including the American Parkinson Disease Association, the National Parkinson Foundation, The Parkinson Alliance, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, The Parkinson's Institute, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and Parkinson's Action Network.
The Unity Walk is made possible through the support of its many sponsors, including this year's premier sponsor, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, now part of Abbott. For the second year, Solvay Pharmaceuticals featured its Messages of Hope(TM) Wall at the Unity Walk, collecting photos and inspirational messages from Walk participants and donating $15 for each message, up to $15,000. Additional Unity Walk sponsors included Boehringer Ingelheim, LSVT Global, Medtronic, Novartis and Teva Neuroscience.
Additionally, a number of leading advocates and representatives from the Parkinson's community spoke at the Unity Walk, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; Brian McCurry, representing Solvay Pharmaceuticals; writer and comedian May May Ali; and Davis Phinney, founder and chair of the board of the Davis Phinney Foundation. An archive of the Unity Walk program is available at www.UnityWalk.org.
Parkinson's disease is a gradual neurodegenerative disease that affects more than one million Americans.
About The Parkinson Alliance
The Parkinson Alliance is the umbrella organization for the Parkinson's Unity Walk. The Kingston, NJ-based national non-profit organization is dedicated to raising funds to help finance the most promising research to find the cause and cure for Parkinson's disease. Through the generous operational support of The Tuchman Foundation and our numerous partnerships, 100 percent of all individual donations to The Parkinson Alliance and all net proceeds from events go directly to fund research.
For more information, visit www.ParkinsonAlliance.org and www.UnityWalk.org.
Contacts: Chris Pearsall Helaine Isaacs MS&L Worldwide Parkinson Alliance 212-468-4254 1-800-579-8440 [email protected]
SOURCE The Parkinson Alliance