New Per­li­can hosts first- ever Parkin­son’s walk

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

Or­ga­niz­ers of the first Parkin­son’s SuperWalk in New Per­li­can were pleased with the turnout for the event, which raised some $1,500 for the cause.

De­spite less than ideal weather con­di­tions for an out­door event, and the fact this was the first Superwalk for Parkin­son’s ever held in New Per­li­can, Don Martin was pleased with the turnout for the inaugural event, which took place Sun­day, Sept. 12.

Martin said the more than 20 par­tic­i­pants who turned out for the event helped raise ap­prox­i­mately $1,500 for the wor­thy cause.

Since he was di­ag­nosed with Parkin­son’s in 2002, the 61-year-old St. John’s na­tive has been in­volved with sim­i­lar events in St. John’s and Car­bon­ear.

When he moved to New Per­li­can ear­lier this year, Martin thought it would be a good idea to or­ga­nize a walk in the Trin­ity South town.

“ I used to do a lot of walk­ing un­til last year when my legs got bad and I had an op­er­a­tion on my back. I don’t do a lot of walk­ing now,” Martin said.

He still en­joys gar­den­ing and land­scap­ing around his new home. “ You have to do some­thing,” he said

Aside from the work around his home, Martin is also in­volved with the Parkin­son So­ci­ety. “ There’s al­ways some­thing to do when you’re in­volved in fundrais­ing.”

Re­ally pleased with the turnout for the first Parkin­son Superwalk in his adopted town, Martin said, “ the peo­ple of New Per­li­can need to be con­grat­u­lated for ef­forts.”

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– Don Martin

Point­ing out there were “no large cor­po­rate do­na­tions” in­volved in this event, he noted most of the con­tri­bu­tions came from in­di­vid­u­als in the com­mu­nity.

I Sea Whales/Dis and Dat Café spon­sored the event. Martin said Terry and Deb­bie Bowen, who own and op­er­ate the café and gift shop were “re­ally help­ful and sup­port­ive of the event.”

He also men­tioned Sara Green, the cur­rent reign­ing Miss New­found­land and Labrador from neigh­bour­ing Win­ter­ton, who came out to cut the rib­bon and of­fi­cially kick off the event.

The re­cent walk was ac­tu­ally the sec­ond fundrais­ing event for Parkin­son’s Martin has been in­volved in since mov­ing to New Per­li­can. In April he helped or­ga­nize a Parkin­son’s Break­fast, which helped raise $2,500.

He said the Bowens were also very sup­port­ive of that event, which was held at the New Per­li­can Recre­ation Cen­tre.

Martin said the funds raised from such events stays in the prov­ince to help fund out­reach pro­grams and help those who suf­fer from Parkin­son’s.

When New Per­li­can held its first Superwalk this month, it be­came one of the lat­est com­mu­ni­ties in Canada to be in­volved in the na­tional event held each Septem­ber to help raise funds for re­search.

Ac­cord­ing to its web­site, Parkin­son So­ci­ety Canada’s Na­tional Re­search Pro­gram in­vested $1.5 mil­lion in 2009, to fund in­no­va­tive pi­lot projects, clin­i­cal fel­low­ships and stu­dentships for tal­ented young re­searchers to en­sure Canada con­tin­ues to en­gage top sci­en­tists in the study of Parkin­son’s. Since 1981, Parkin­son So­ci­ety Canada has pro­vided over $16.8 mil­lion to Cana­dian re­search.

Don Martin, seen here about to en­ter his New Per­li­can home, or­ga­nized the first Parkin­son Superwalk in the Trin­ity South com­mu­nity.

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