Last week I asked the question “Why not run for a charity this year?” Hopefully you decided this is the year that you will, but the Honda LA Marathon has 65 Official Charities that you can support. So with very broad range of charities how do you choose!
I certainly can’t tell you — and shouldn’t tell you — which charity to support. What I can do is introduce you to them so you’ll have some ideas about what to consider as you make your choice.
I’m proud to introduce to you this week John and Edna Ball National Co-chairs of Team Parkinson.
John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in 1983 and began running as a means to fight back against this degenerative neurological disease. Edna’s mother had been diagnosed with the same condition in 1961, when Edna was only 11, so you could that they both have a tremendous stake in trying to help people with the disease, and help find a cure.
Team Parkinson got started by Mary Yost, who saw John running in the LA Marathon in 1999 and she decided that if he could do it, in spite of living with Parkinson’s’ disease, so could she. Mary also suffers from PD. As she prepared herself for the March 2000 LA Marathon, she decided that it would be a great tool both for raising awareness of the impact of Parkinson’s on society, and also for raising money for research to find a cure. With Mary as their leader and the Parkinson Alliance as their parent organization, they raised $51,000 that first year. Team Parkinson has been an official charity for the last ten years.
Team Parkinson’s concept as simple as possible – no dues or memberships, no fundraising limits, and no costly coaching programs – they have helped many athletes who want their efforts to make a positive difference -both those with Parkinson’s and those interested in the community – achieve their personal goals and find a way to contribute financially to the research for a cure to this devastating disease. Anyone can represent Team Parkinson at any race or event around the country as part of a team or as an individual.
Team Parkinson has been very successful over the years at the LA Marathon, raising a total of $1,008,556 in 11 years of participation, and almost $2 million over all. In the words of John Ball, “Team Parkinson is not just for LA anymore; it’s gone global! Thanks to the Honda LA Marathon for making our success possible”
To join Team Parkinson…1-866-822-CURE (2873) www.team-parkinson.org
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