KAYSVILLE — The community came together for a cause that has touched many personally, at this year’s “Pedal Away Parkinson’s.”
The July 19 event took place at Gailey Park, where 269 riders, together with donations from 120 businesses, helped bring in $12,000 that will be donated to the Utah Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Meredith Smith has organized the event for eight of its nine years with the help of “amazing volunteers,” including “a couple of powerhouse volunteers,” she said.
Smith’s mother, Sherrell Healey, was diagnosed with the disease 17 years ago and has done “remarkably well,” said Smith, because of her commitment to exercise. Her mother also benefited from recent Deep Brain Stimulus surgery, said Smith.
“There’s not a lot you can do as a caretaker or as a family member if someone has Parkinson’s,” said Smith. “There’s no way to solve it. This is just another way of showing that you support them and you love them.”
She said having the community come together and recognize the daily struggle of people with Parkinson’s is very important.
The July event included snow cones, bounce houses and face painting for kids, and a raffle and silent auction for adults.
Biker’s Edge donated a bike for the fundraiser and Kat Tingey and her bannd performed during the mornign event.
One family created a team, held their own auction and raised $1,700 for the event, in honor of a grandmother who has the disease, said Smith.
This year’s honoree was Dale George, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years ago.
“He has chosen to confront his challenge with knowledge and a positive attitude,” said Smith. “I just adore him, he’s an amazing person.”
When there was no support group in Davis County, George started one himself, a group that has grown from seven to 40 members.
“It’s no small undertaking,” said Smith. “He gets amazing people to come. It’s for family members and caretakers as well.”
“There are so many people with Parkinson’s Disease in Utah and the community needs to be there to support them,” she said.
As she has traveled to businesses in the community looking for sponsors, she has found a great deal of support.
“It’s surprising to hear how many people are affected,” she said. “It doesn’t get the attention it needs.”
For those who’d still like to support the fundraiser, information is available at facebook.com/Pedal/Away/Parkinsons.