The 22nd Annual “Step Up” for Parkinson’s Walk

On Saturday, February 13, 2021, the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida (SWFL) will make strides toward helping members of the greater Naples community to live well with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Their 22nd Annual “Step Up” for Parkinson’s Walk will take place from 9:00 am-Noon at Baker Park in Naples, a venue that provides an outdoor environment where supporters can “step up,” while remaining socially distant.

This annual walk, which draws hundreds of supporters, provides an opportunity to raise awareness and funds that directly benefit more than 8,000 members of our community who are diagnosed with PD in Collier County, and more than 11,000 in Lee County who are affected by a disease that has no cure. In addition to raising funds, the annual walk is a motivational experience that helps create awareness of PD which affects over one million Americans, and is the second-most common degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.

“The walk attracts hundreds of supporters who walk for those who are losing that ability because they are affected by a disease that is associated with a progressive loss of motor control,” said Bill Morgan, Board Chair of the Parkinson’s Association of SWFL.

“Our organization is the front-line for resources and support for our community members diagnosed with PD, neurodegenerative diseases, and their care partners. We provide movement, speech, music and support classes that support the research that shows a proactive approach to managing PD during the early stages significantly prolongs the Parkinsonian’s ability to stay active and counteract some of the degenerative effects of PD that include loss of motor control.”

Based on current statistics from the U.S. Census and studies by the national Parkinson’s Foundation, Southwest Florida has one of the largest PD populations in the country, creating a growing demand for the organization’s services.

The services and support the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida provides are complimentary to members with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners. These programs are funded without government support, but are made possible through donations from community members and fundraising special events. Due to COVID-19, the organization is unable to hold most of their larger fundraising events, making their outdoor walk more critical than in previous years to supporting their mission.

“Someone is diagnosed with PD every nine seconds. A new diagnosis brings with it so many questions. What should I expect? How long will I be healthy? What treatments and interventions are available? Where can I get help?” says Morgan.

“We are here to answer those questions and to help our members find the services and support they need in our community. In addition to the many movement, support, speech and social groups and classes we offer, we have direct connections with neurologists and movement disorder specialists within the state of Florida. Our 22nd annual walk on February 13 is more important than ever to funding the critical services we provide.”

There are no fees associated with becoming a member; the membership application is available online at www.parkinsonassociationswfl.org.

WHAT: Step Up for Parkinson’s Walk to benefit the services offered by the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida

WHERE: Baker Park, 30 Riverside Circle, Naples, FL

WHEN: Saturday, February 13, 2021;Registration: 9:00AM, Walk Starts: 10:00AM

REGISTER AND LEARN MORE:ParkinsonAssociationSWFL.org or call 239-417-3465

COST: $25 per person, $5 for Furry Friends

WHO: People of all ages are welcome to participate

REGISTRATION INCLUDES: Snack and beverage, t-shirt, live music, valet parking, swag bags, and much more.

SAFETY NOTE: The walk is held outdoors where supporters can “step up,” while remaining socially distant.

The walk is sponsored by the Arlington Naples, Moorings Park, and Discovery Village at Naples. Additional sponsorships opportunities are available by contacting: Kari Bone at 239.821.4155, Felicia Saracenoat 203.631.1737, or Greg Beaugez at 239.877.0839.

About the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida

The mission of the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida is to provide proven and effective programs and services that improve the quality of life, educate, enrich, and empower people affected by Parkinson’s Disease and related neurodegenerative diseases. Our vision is to continue to create a Parkinson’s- friendly community where people affected by Parkinson’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disease are treated with dignity and understanding. We provide advocacy, awareness and education to the healthcare and Parkinson’s communities and the community at large. People reach out to us for our expertise, programs and experience.

Services and support are always free and extended to the care partners and families of community members with PD. We are an independent non-profit that is not affiliated with a national organization. For more information, visit ParkinsonAssociationSWFL.org or call239-417-3465.

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