In fundraising for next month’s Parkinson SuperWalk in White Rock, Liz Holroyd – the event’s organizer – got way more than she expected from a last-minute appeal on social media.
“I was just sort of last week going, ‘Oh geez, I better get organized here,’ because I hadn’t really done all my fundraising,” Holroyd said Wednesday (Aug. 26). “I had $100 and my goal was $3,000 – and I donated to myself.
“On Facebook, I did a live video and I could not believe it – within five days, I was $200 away from my goal. So that was really awesome. I had a lot of people donate, some that I haven’t seen in a long time, some I used to work with, some high school pals.”
In the post, Holroyd “just kind of had a chat about how important the fundraiser is for Parkinson’s B.C., because it’s the biggest fundraiser of the year.”
Provincewide, it’s hoped the event – taking place this year on Sept. 12 and 13 – will raise $325,000, for advocacy, education, research and services in support of the more than 13,000 British Columbians who live with the disease.
While past White Rock Parkinson SuperWalks have seen hundreds of participants pace off from uptown White Rock, this year’s walk will be a virtual affair, due to pandemic-related restrictions on gathering. Participants are encouraged to sign up online and fundraise, and then on the walk weekend go for a walk, whether it’s in a neighbourhood park, along a local trail, at the beach or in their own backyard.
Holroyd hasn’t yet finalized where she’ll be walking, but noted that all participants are reminded to abide by the provincial health officer’s physical-distancing guidelines.
This year’s walk is the society’s 30th. For Holroyd, it also coincides with another anniversary – the 10th year of her own diagnosis with Parkinson’s.
The neurodegenerative disorder causes symptoms ranging from tremors to impaired balance to extreme fatigue. It is incurable, and the pace of its progress is unpredictable.
Holroyd said while she lives with the symptoms everyday, she has been fortunate in that a regime of exercise and eating well has kept the disease in check.
“So, there is hope when you take care of yourself,” she said.
She described Parkinson Society British Columbia as “a great resource.”
“I was there right away (after diagnosis) and I was so glad I did,” she said. “It just opened up a world of support.”
The Parkinson SuperWalk will begin with online opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. on Sept. 12, featuring special addresses from Parkinson Society British Columbia and members of the Parkinson’s community, photos and videos of fundraising efforts, and an announcement of how much has been raised over the summer.
Fundraising and exercise challenges have been underway since June to rally support. As of Aug. 28, just over $102,000 had been raised. Donations will continue to be accepted through Dec. 31.
Holroyd said she plans to reach out to those who she knows signed up last year to let them know the walk is going ahead next month and encourage them to get involved again. She doesn’t want the pandemic to stymie enthusiasm for the cause.
“I just think it’s important that everybody in White Rock knows that there is a virtual event this year,” she said.
To get involved or for more information, Holroyd may be reached at 604-317-9599. To sign up online, visit events.parkinson.bc.ca, click on Find a Walk and scroll to the White Rock link.