Geelong fundraiser raises over $20,000 for Parkinson’s
MORE than 570 locals weaved through a 2km stretch of trees at Eastern Park on Sunday to raise $20,000+ for the wider Parkinson’s community.
About 40 volunteers as well as neighbouring businesses supported the second A Walk in the Park Geelong, which aimed to champion the 11,500 Victorians who suffer from the condition.
Although clouds loomed over the city across the course of the weekend, the rain held off as walkers wandered the popular garden alongside family and friends.
Event organiser Kirsten George said the event was “amazing”, with many people including Parkinson’s influencers fronting to Geelong’s arboretum to back the cause.
“The five hours of clear weather over the weekend fell exactly when we needed it to,” Ms George said.
“We can’t tackle this disease on our own. We need to do it together and have the support of each other.”
Personal trainer Melanie Turnley from Minc Fitness got the crowd moving pre-walk, while the Geelong Vietnam Veterans Association dished up sausages post-walk. Singing group ParkinSong also helped liven the atmosphere.
Ms George said she believed this year’s efforts in promoting the walk, such as Your Family, Our Family – an online initiative which saw a series of posts about Parkinson’s sufferers shared online – contributed to the overall success of A Walk in the Park Geelong.
“A lot of people mentioned to me that they loved hearing the stories about people and that Parkinson’s is anyone, and it affects you very differently whether it’s a family member or you yourself,” she said.
Parkinson’s Victoria chief executive officer Emma Collin attended the Geelong leg of the nation-wide fundraiser and said events such as A Walk in the Park provided essential services and educational benefits for Parkinson’s sufferers and their families.
Ms George said the event was likely to run again next year with support from Homestyle Aged Care, Prestige Inhome Care and the City of Greater Geelong.