Last year the CSRA Parkinson’s Support Group fundraising walk was on the same day as walks supporting two other causes, so this year it moved its event to Saturday. The new date runs smack into one of the largest fundraising walks in Augusta: University Hospital’s Miracle Mile Walk to support breast health services and breast cancer screening.
“We’re still in conflict, but at least it’s a different kind of disease,” President Mary Ann Navarro said.
For 12 years, the Parkinson’s disease group held its fundraising walk on the first week in November, which last year put it in conflict with the Walk to Cure Diabetes and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The group decided to hold its Moving Day Augusta walk a couple of weeks earlier and will run up against Miracle Mile, which last year drew more than 7,000 participants. Navarro said she is hoping for 250 people at the walk for Parkinson’s. After it raised $15,000 the previous year, the goal this year is $30,000, and “we’re almost there,” Navarro said. The group has raised more than $27,000.
Miracle Mile earned 10 times more, about $300,000, last year, and the goal for this year is $500,000, of which nearly $140,000 has already come in, according to the walk’s Web site.
The Moving Day walk is one of 19 across the country being held in conjunction with the National Parkinson Foundation, Navarro said.
The name was deliberately chosen “stressing that movement is good for everybody,” she said. In addition to a 2-mile walk, there will be dancing, tai chi and chair exercise demonstrations, Navarro said.
In years past, the money raised has gone to research, including Parkinson’s research at Georgia Health Sciences University and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, she said.
“This year, we’re trying to develop a respite program for the caregivers,” Navarro said. “We want to focus on programs for the caregivers and the patients themselves.”