18th Annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk Raises More Than $1.5 Million in Support of Parkinson’s Research


Contacts: Allison Riley
      Helaine Issacs
The Parkinson Alliance

18th Annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk Raises More Than $1.5 Million in Support of Parkinson’s Research
10,000 walkers take steps together for Parkinson’s research and awareness

Kingston, N.J. — May 2, 2012 — The 18th Annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk (PUW), held on Saturday, April 28, 2012 in New York City’s Central Park, raised more than $1.5 million thus far and united 10,000 walkers, The Parkinson Alliance announced today.

The event, kicked-off by Michael J. Fox, drew a record number of 527 registered teams participating in the PUW’s 18 year history to help raise funds for Parkinson’s disease (PD) research. The funds raised are distributed evenly among the nation’s seven leading Parkinson’s foundations, and the PUW will continue to accept contributions for the 2012 event through May 28, 2012.

A number of leading advocates and representatives from the Parkinson’s community spoke at the PUW, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, 14th CD; Michael Jones, Divisional VP & General Manager, Abbott; May May Ali, Writer and Comedian; and Martin Tuchman, Chairman of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.  

“Collaboration and sharing – two words that are extremely important to the success of this community,” said Carol Walton, Chief Executive Officer of The Parkinson Alliance. “People living with Parkinson’s, researchers, healthcare professionals, volunteers and foundations all working together to assure that one day a year, the most comprehensive day of community and education takes place for people with Parkinson’s and their families.”

The PUW is the largest awareness and fundraising event for PD research in the United States.

‘The Parkinson’s Unity Walk is important, not only for members of the Parkinson’s community but also for the field of Parkinson’s disease research,” said Todd Sherer, Chief Executive Officer of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. “It brings together so many of us who are deeply invested in finding a cure, and the funds raised help speed progress for patients today. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is grateful to be a part of this inspiring event.’

For Walk participants, the PUW represented much more than a one-day event. It was an opportunity for patients, caregivers and organizations to all come together in support of the community.

‘Year after year, I’m humbled by the consistent support from my friends, family and colleagues,” said Jim McNasby, Team Captain of top fundraising team, Team McMoss, and PUW Board Member. “Their generosity is both extraordinary and impactful because all of the donations go directly to research. And when I hear about the research – especially some of the genetic research supported by the Walk – it gives me hope for the future. Hope keeps me going.’

In addition to individual and team fundraising efforts, Abbott, a leading global health care company and premier sponsor of the PUW, helped raise an additional $30,000, which will be donated directly to the PUW in support of research.

Additional sponsors included, Boehringer Ingelheim, Teva CNS, Chelsea Therapeutics, LSVT Global, Medtronic, Novartis, and UCB.

One hundred percent of all proceeds from the PUW will be shared equally among the seven leading Parkinson’s foundations to help fund research that directly impacts the lives of people living with PD: American Parkinson Disease Association, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, The Parkinson Alliance, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center.

About The Parkinson Alliance
The Kingston, NJ-based national non-profit is dedicated to raising funds to help finance the most promising research to find the cause and cure for Parkinson’s disease, and is the umbrella organization for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. The Parkinson’s Unity Walk is the largest grassroots fundraiser event for Parkinson’s disease in the country. The inaugural Walk in 1994 had 200 participants and raised $16,000 for research. From day one, 100% of donations have gone to research supported by the seven major U.S. Parkinson’s foundations.

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