Kickin’ Parkinson’s is a PUBLIC BENEFIT nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. Specifically, Kickin’ Parkinson’s is a Team Fox, part of a grassroots community fundraising program of the Michael J Fox Foundation. The Michael J Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. The Foundation is the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research and has invested more than $700 million in research to date. Team Fox organizations such as ours have raised $55 million toward that total.
Kickin’ Parkinson’s is both a fundraising organization and also provides support to Parkinson’s disease patients and their caregivers by hosting an annual Research Roundtable for our families from all over Louisiana, providing monetary awards and opportunities for respite for Caregivers as well as a Scholarship Program. Kickin’ Parkinson’s Co-Founder, Quentin Dastugue, serves on both the Michael J Fox Foundation’s Patient Council and Advocacy Committee.
Kickin’ Parkinson’s raises funds primarily through two Executive Committee led efforts. What started in 2009 as a 5k Race and Family Fun Run has developed into the area’s premiere and most successful community events – “A Kickin’ Party” – held in Covington, LA each fall. Kickin’ Parkinson’s has been recognized for the past three years as one of the Top 5 Team Fox fundraisers in the country (out of over 4,000) and in 2017 received an award from the Foundation for being the first Team Fox to raise over $1,000,000 in three years. It is at this event that we present our Caregiver and Scholarship awards. The three Caregiver Awardees each receive a cash award of $250, a Spa Day and complimentary tickets. The Wilbert H. Reisig Scholarship for Parkinson’s Awareness was developed by a Committee member in honor of his father and grandfather. It is awarded annually to a high school graduate seeking a degree related to neurological disorders. Recipients are selected by an independent Scholarship Advisory Committee. We also provide free tickets to every PD support group in the region. In 2016, over 700 people attended our fundraiser and we raised over $388,000.
Kickin’ Parkinson’s has also been a Charity Partner of Louisiana’s largest road race, the Crescent City Classic. We recruit runners who individually raise funds for Kickin’ Parkinson’s. Over the past three years, we have raised almost $100,000 through this effort.
Kickin’ Parkinson’s has partnered with the Michael J Fox Foundation for the past three years to host a Research Roundtable for our families in Louisiana living with Parkinson’s disease. It is an opportunity for our families to hear first-hand about the latest research findings, medical treatments and therapies directly from the MJFF leaders, scientists and physicians. Last year, over 100 people attended this program.
Quentin Dastugue (Co-Founder), a PD patient and former legislator, participates in the Advocacy Committee. In 2017, he participated in a Day on the Hill with advocates from all over the country meeting with DC lawmakers and providing the important patient perspective. Quentin’s participation on the MJFF Patient Council (25 member) gives him the opportunity to both provide feedback from challenges that both he and other PD families in LA are experiencing as well as to learn the latest research findings and medical breakthroughs that he can share back home through our website, social media as well as presentations at local Parkinson’s disease support group meetings.