Tag Archives: lake ashton

The total raised during the 2016 tournament is …

12512238_1010611815693978_2112717737119009760_n.jpgOn April 2, PCRF hosted its 7th annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s at Lake Ashton Club in Winter Haven, Florida. Despite thunder storms with heavy rain, the event was a bright spot for us during Parkinson’s Awareness month.

As always, the Lake Ashton community came together to support us and others on this Parkinson’s journey. TeamFox friends from around the state joined us and Sam Fox from the Foundation for our event.

This year was the first year I have fully allowed the entire Harmon family an equal say in event details and planning. Those who know the Harmon ladies won’t be surprised, when I say “I could not have done it without them.” In fact, I should have done it long ago.

This year we had a Marquis Partner, Family Elder Law from neighboring Lake Wales. In addition to expense and volunteer support, they agreed to match 10% of monies we raised for the Michael J Fox Foundation.

Due to the support and hard work of everyone, I am proud to announce that we raised over $48,000 – 100% of these monies will go directly to research by the Fox Foundation.

A true VICTORY! Thank you one and all.

TWO SHOES ON AGAIN

‘Dad, this isn’t about me, it’s about finding the cure’

What a month April was.

We started off the month with the whole family gathering for the 5th Annual Golf for the Cure. For those who remember last year where everyone told me “You did to much,” I made a pledge that I would get more help this year. Well, I lived up to that pledge and was fully recovered two days after the tournament. Thanks to all who helped me carry the load especially my family.

The event once again showed the generosity of the Lake Ashton community. We raised over $47,000 this year, which brings our five year total to over $200,000 (including matches through the Michael J Fox Foundation). The event also had a few surprises for Bob (I hate surprises). Since the event coincided with the MJFF MVP dinner, which we were unable to attend, and members of the foundation were unable to come to our event. Hence the surprise, we received a two-part video with Stephanie Paddock from the foundation and Michael J Fox with a personal message for our community and my family. Due to a production glitch, Emily’s name was left out. When the family told me of the problem the night before two things happened. The foundation went out of their way to send a letter to Em and a picture from Michael thanking her during MVP. But the best thing that happened was Emily’s immediate response. She said: “Dad this isn’t about me, it’s about finding a cure.” Boy, does she get it or what.

At the end of the month the local newspaper ran an article about our efforts in the community. It is an honor to be chosen for the piece, and I am somewhat embarrassed by the attention. The upside is our journey was exposed to almost 70,000 readers, and it was Parkinson’s Awareness month after all. As I was reflecting on the month and being “out there,” I thought of Emily’s comment and everything fell into place.

This isn’t about me. It’s about finding the cure

So, thank you again to all those who helped us, all of the donors, and to the Lake Ashton community, you are part of the effort to Find the Cure. Thank you Emily for reminding me of the lessons we have previously learned.

TWO SHOES ON AGAIN

How much did Golf for the Cure bring in …

Did you see who Team Fox featured on Inspiration Monday?
Did you see who Team Fox featured on Inspiration Monday?

I just wanted to share this photo of Dad with you all and tell you some big news.

So there are still some checks and dollars to be counted, but the 5th Annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease has raised MORE THAN $45,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

SAY WHAT?

That’s right. Thanks to your support, our sponsors and the Lake Ashton community, in five years, you’ve helped us raise more than $200,000 for the foundation to help find a cure.

I interviewed a mother today, who was diagnosed less than a year ago with PD. She was talking to me about why we do this. Why we fundraise. Why we participate in clinical trials. And she said:

“Maybe more moms at the age of 42 won’t have to look at their kids and say this is going to be a long road, but we’re going to just fine.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For being a part of this goal and our journey. We seriously could not do it without each and every single one of you.

Where have we been?

I know, I know. No one likes a blog post that starts off … Sorry for being MIA lately, but. And here it is. There are plenty of excuses of where I’ve been, what the family has been up to, etc. But what it comes down for me personally, is that work has been insane and I’ve been missing out on my PD family.

Let me catch you up with what’s been happening.

Meet the Vanek family: Emily, Sherri, Ben and Michael
Meet the Vanek family: Emily, Sherri, Ben and Michael

Recently, I had the honor of interview the Vanek family for the Michael J Fox Foundation’s blog. The dad, Michael, has PD and is participating in every trial he can. It was seriously one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite story I’ve written for the blog. Why? Honestly, I’m not sure. But I think it has to do with the innocence of the children in the family.

Little Ben, 6, goes to bed every night praying that “daddy’s Parkinson’s” go away. He doesn’t know what that means really. Nor does he understand that his dad is playing an active role in the cure.
Continue reading Where have we been?

Spread the word! It’s almost time

We’re a month away from the 5th Annual Golf For the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease! 

Check out the press release I typed up for local media, and head over to Dad’s Team Fox page if you’d like to donate. 

It could have been easy in 2006 for Winter Haven resident Bob Harmon to let a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease consume him. Instead, it did not only the opposite for him, but for his family and many in the Lake Ashton community.

 

It started as a tremor in his pinky finger in 2004,  that turned into trouble eating cereal without spilling. Then his gait changed. After seeing a neurologist, it was confirmed, Parkinson’s. On his way back to work, he called his wife, Cecily, who said “Thank God it’s not something that will kill you in 90 days.” Not only has it not killed him, but it’s inspired him to mentor others, start a support group and raise more than $150,000 so far for the Michael J Fox Foundation.

 

In doing so, Harmon has spread the word of the disease known by many to affect old the elderly and some famous people Muhammad Ali and Michael J Fox. In 2009, Harmon held the first Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease in the Lake Ashton community. More than 200 golfers mostly from inside the community packed the two golf courses for a day of golf followed by a luncheon and auction. It became a packed, annual event and in its fourth year, the community helped Harmon raise more than $50,000 for the cure. In 2013, the tournament was in the top 20 fundraisers for Team Fox, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Michael J Fox Foundation.

 

This year’s tournament — the 5th Annual Golf For The Cure For Parkinson’s Disease — will be held Saturday, April 5 at 8:30 a.m.

 

Along with his fundraising efforts, Harmon created and facilitates the Lake Ashton Outreach/Support Group and Parkinson’s Cure Research Funding, his own nonprofit. The support group, which he runs with the help of his wife, is open to the general public to provide support to Parkinson’s patients and their care partners. The group meets on the first Friday of the month. Bob and Cecily are also involved in clinical trials, which they found through Fox Trial Finder, the Michael J Fox Foundation’s online clinical trials matching tool. Their twin daughters, Emily and Kate, are also signed up. Emily and Kate also raise money for other Parkinson’s efforts, and Kate writes for the Michael J Fox Foundation.

 

This year’s tournament will prove to again be a labor of love and hope as the Harmons, the Lake Ashton community and their friends come together to help raise money as they joke on the course. Bob has said he’s not sure a cure will come in his lifetime, but his efforts and those of the Winter Haven-Lakeland community will be a part of bringing that cure to those just like him.

Superman’s Kryptonite: Stress, event planning and Parkinson’s

Not only did Bob plan the whole thing, but he hit a ball with each team.
Not only did Bob plan the whole thing, but he hit a ball with each team.

Stress is not a friend to those with Parkinson’s (much less anyone else).  Everything I read seems to say that stress exacerbates symptoms. I know when I speak I develop an exaggerated tremor. This is unusual for me because my main symptoms are gait and stiffness related, with very little tremor manifestation.

I am finding that the stress can be either mental or physical. As we progressed through the preparations for and the actual event this year, I found myself confronted by a number of unexpected sources of stress.  The first was my breaching a rule that I preach to all who are planning an event, START EARLY. I have done this before, so what new challenges could there be? I got a little complacent and kept singing our mantra “YOU’VE GOT THIS.” So I kept playing golf every chance I got, and knew I could always catch up.

Now this is not like running a marathon. I don’t know how PWP do that. Sure I understand training is different from a planning and executing details for a group event. But is the stress different? I don’t think so. Continue reading Superman’s Kryptonite: Stress, event planning and Parkinson’s

4th Annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease

Look at that crowd.
Look at that crowd.

Once again it was a beautiful day at the golf course. The sun was shining, with slight breeze and 240 neighbors and friends descended on both Lake Ashton golf courses. Signs were made, player scorecards were made, orange juice and doughnuts (breakfast of champions in retirement) were served, and all those tiny little details were attended to.

How did it get ready? Volunteers were the answer. Oh yeah and family helped a little. Actually Cecily and I returned from the doughnut run before 7 a.m. and picked up the trailer full of supplies and met everyone else at the pro shop.

I guess now is the time to give a shout out to Stephanie Paddock from The Michael J Fox Foundation. She was not just a pretty face, but she worked from beginning to end of the event doing everything we asked. She even lied to the golfers and told them how good I was at golf. I try to go around and hit a golf shot with each team. This year, my good shots used increased by 25%. (5 verses 4 out of 60 shots). Steph acted as my witness (therefore the liar claim).
Continue reading 4th Annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease

Golfing for a cure: Kate’s favorite photos from the tournament

I’m no professional photographer, but here’s a selection of my favorite shots from the 4th Annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease held Saturday, April 6 at Lake Ashton.

If you want to see all the photos that made my slideshow, click here.

I’m not going to steal Dad’s thunder talking about the tournament, so I’ll just comment on my shots and why I love them.

Continue reading Golfing for a cure: Kate’s favorite photos from the tournament