Team Parkinson Awarded Largest Team at San Francisco Marathon! - 08/28/2007

2007 marked Team Parkinson’s fifth year in San Francisco, and our third year at the San Francisco
Marathon event! Each year at the SF Marathon we have been the top charity with the most athletes
registered and most funds raised, and this year was no exception! This year the race staff even
gave us special recognition as the “largest team” at the awards stage after the race!

Race weekend started out with the 2-day expo held at Justin Herman Plaza near the Ferry building. I
manned the booth along with John and Edna Ball and Carol Walton. Our Premiere Sponsor Valeant
Pharmaceuticals provided representatives to help at the booth each day as well. Cassidy and Ashima
were a delight to work with and so enthusiastic and supportive!

I love working at the expo and meeting all the athletes that stop by to pick up their Team P shirts,
some of which I only had email contact with and was meeting for the first time! In addition, there
are many people that come up to the booth with a family member or friend who has Parkinson’s that are
just learning about us for the first time. It is so wonderful to be able to offer support and an encouraging word to those that come upon us. It’s also fun to re-connect with returning athletes as well that have become part of our Team Parkinson family through the years!

In addition to Valeant, we had two other corporate sponsors this year. Franklin Templeton Investments
has been a sponsor of Team Parkinson all five years we have been in San Francisco. In addition, some
of their staff members have walked, ran and volunteered for us each year along the way and have
tremendous spirit! Vernalis was another new sponsor this year that we are grateful for. The support
of these companies is very important to us, and their staff have been so wonderful and supportive of
our efforts.

After we wrapped up the expo on Saturday afternoon we headed across the street to Sinbad’s restaurant
for our team carbo-load dinner! We had about 50 people in attendance again this year. Emily Jordan
& Gannon Brown from Valeant were also in attendance, and Gannon gave a short presentation to the
group. We continued our tradition of passing the mic around so that everyone could introduce themselves and tell us their connection to Parkinson’s disease. It was a wonderful bonding experience as we all shared our stories and I think it made everyone realize they are not alone in battling this disease, and there is a lot of support for them and hope for the future.

Race Day brought perfect weather for the runners - overcast yet mild. Myself as well as several others including John Ball were sidelined from running this year for various reasons. It was an opportunity for me to experience the 5k event for the first time, and we had a group of several dozen who gathered near the start with our Team Parkinson sign to lead us. It was great to see all the colorful shirts and smiling faces representing Team P! After the 5k was completed we set up a cheering section near the finish line to cheer in our full and second-half marathoners. All of our athletes looked great and I think everyone had a wonderful day!

We also had success on the fundraising front thanks to the efforts of our athletes! Final donations are still coming in as we will be receiving matching gifts from many participants through their companies. I am hopeful we will come near the $40,000 mark in total funds raised when all is said and done! Top fundraisers include Margaret Evans and Francesca Demgen -- both new to Team P this year, returning team members the Driscoll Family-- with another fantastic effort by both Joy Driscoll-Durling and Madelyn Driscoll, and Kurt and Lynn Fielder who have been a part of Team P for many years!

I would also like to acknowledge several other athletes that have been with us for years and also inspire us with their dedication and commitment. Frank Markowitz has been with us every year in San Francisco and his family also participates and fundraises for our LA marathon event. Dan Kiefer participates in both our San Francisco and Los Angeles events. Dan has PD and ran his first event with us several years ago, the US Half Marathon. Since then he has run the LA Marathon with John Ball and he ran the half marathon again this year in San Francisco!

A final thank you again to all of our athletes, volunteers and sponsors for your dedication to Team Parkinson- you are the reason for our success!

We continue our quest until a cure is found, and hope you will join us again next year -- mark your calendars for Sunday August 3rd, 2008 for next year’s SF Marathon!

Jen Bugnatto
Volunteer Chair, SF Bay Area

Read John Ball's speech from the carbo dinner

View photos here