The Parkinson Foundation of Northwest Ohio (PFNWO) looks forward to a big year in 2020. The Foundation has a new logo and new website, but the most spectacular addition is a fundraiser that will be the largest and the first of its kind for the nonprofit support group.
The fundraiser is called Paint the Town, to be held Thursday, May 14, at 6:00 p.m. at the Toledo Country Club, 3949 River Road, Toledo. Attendees will enjoy a fine art exhibition of paintings by regional artists, live entertainment, and delicious cuisine by renowned Chef Marcel of the Toledo Country Club. All of the paintings will be available for purchase. Funds raised by art purchases, individual ticket sales, and corporate supporters will go toward helping the local Parkinson’s disease community.
The Toledo Artists’ Club is curating the exhibition. Artists’ entries are being accepted at showsubmit.com. Entry deadline is March 15, but early application is encouraged.
Proceeds from Paint the Town will help finance support groups, programs, and services including exercise activities such as “Big and Loud,” “Delay the Disease,” boxing, dance, and music therapy, all of which are designed to help those with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.
Funds also will help provide for therapy centers’ equipment, educational training for therapist certification, support groups, and research grants, such as those currently supported by the Foundation and conducted at the Gardener-McMaster Center at the University of Toledo Medical Center.
“Through Paint the Town,” says Stacey Dunbar, Foundation treasurer, “we aim to raise awareness of the number of those affected by Parkinson’s disease and raise funds to continue our mission of providing education, care, and comfort to those afflicted with PD and their caregivers.”
“I didn’t think a support group would be for me, but I was wrong,” says a PD sufferer who has been helped by the Foundation. “With thanks to PFNWO, I’ve got this. I have Parkinson’s. It doesn’t have me.”
Another person with Parkinson’s says, “I have daily struggles with PD, the tremors, memory loss, and more, but it’s all more manageable with the education, guidance, and comfort provided by PFNWO.”
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive movement disorder. Persons afflicted with PD may lose their ability to walk, speak, eat, think, or otherwise lose their ability to function.
There is no known cause, cure, or prevention. Pharmacological and surgical treatments provide relief from some motor symptoms but do not halt the disease’s progression.
“Parkinson’s knows no boundaries,” says Connie Karcher, Paint the Town coordinator. “It doesn’t recognize educational or socioeconomic factors.” The Foundation provides for all demographics, including underserved communities.
PFNWO serves those with Parkinson’s and their caregivers in 24 northwest Ohio counties. It is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
One may wonder “what’s with the Foundation’s tulip logo?” The red tulip has become globally synonymous with Parkinson’s disease since a Dutch horticulturist who had PD developed a red and white tulip and named it “Dr. James Parkinson,” after the English surgeon whose pioneering work in the disease led to it bearing his name. In April 2005, the red tulip was launched as the Worldwide Symbol of Parkinson’s Disease at the Ninth World PD Day conference in Luxembourg. The strong stem and vibrant red color symbolize strength, hope, and optimism.
“Paint the Town,” Karcher says, “will be a great evening with a great view of the Maumee River and an even greater view inside Toledo Country Club with exhibited paintings and beautiful creations by Chef Marcel. People can stroll, sip, savor, and buy, all for a great cause.”
Paint the Town features six sponsor levels for groups and offers single-ticket purchases.
Dennis Bova is a freelance writer and editor following a career as a newspaper reporter, columnist, and copy editor.