NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Organizers of the third annual Mark's Place Healthy is Beautiful 10k Run/Walk event have set a goal of 1,000 participants to run, walk, bike, cheer, or volunteer on Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Schoenbrunn State Memorial at New Philadelphia. The fundraising event is sponsored by the Movers and Shakers Against Parkinson's of Tuscarawas County.
Between 600 and 700 people took part in each of the events first two years. Event organizer Mark Luikart of New Philadelphia says the Movers and Shakers have focused their attention this year on a new partnership with Union Hospital in Dover. The group has set a fundraising goal of $100,000.
"Working with Union Hospital, the Movers and Shakers group is already funding the "yUHr Move!" program that is serving more than 50 local people with Parkinson's disease or other movement disorders," Luikart said.
"yUHr Move!" is a ten-week class designed specifically to address the needs of people with Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions. Classes are held two afternoons each week at the UH Healthplex. Participants are encouraged to come a third day each week to repeat the exercises on their own.
"With the proceeds of the Healthy is Beautiful 10K events, the Movers and Shakers group will expand our funding of the development and implementation of world-class movement disorder therapies at Union Hospital."
Luikart said the hospital programs and services funded by the event will serve Parkinson's disease patients, but added that the equipment, therapies, and educational programs coming in the future will also serve patients with MS, stroke, ALS, and other movement disorder diagnoses.
"These programs have been developed at the Cleveland Clinic and in a few other major metropolitan areas," Luikart said. "But now for the first time, hundreds of local movement disorder patients will have access to treatments at Union Hospital that have come from this cutting edge research."
"As a Parkinson's patient myself, I know from first-hand experience how important exercise and activity can be to living better with Parkinson's," Luikart said. "The 'yUHr Move!" class is presented by therapists whose specialized training was funded by a grant from Movers and Shakers. We also covered the enrollment expense so the programs can be offered free to the participants."
The Oct. 13 Healthy is Beautiful 10K race/walk event will be held at the Schoenbrunn Village State Memorial. Participants can run or walk a course of 6, 4, 2 or 1 mile through the beautiful trails and roadways within the Village. Bikers can ride a 21 or 36 mile road course.
Registration deadline is Oct. 11 online, and costs $30 per participant. Register on-line at: https://runsignup.com/HIB10K Register at Mark's Place Salon and Spa at 715 Cookson Ave. SE in New Philadelphia thru Oct. 12 or at the event. T-shirt deadline is Sept. 30.
With the registration fee, each participant will receive a gift pack including a dry fit T-shirt, sling pack, $20 Mark's Place gift certificate, Matrix hair products, and a one month membership to Super Fitness.
Participants will enjoy food from Bistro 131 and live bluegrass music from Joe Williams & Deep Water at the event on Oct. 13.
"We ask each participant who registers and receives the gift pack to set a goal of raising $100 or more," Luikart added. "Over 30 companies, non-profits, churches and families are forming teams and seeking support. No one will be turned away for not making their fundraising goal, but we do expect everyone to give it their best effort."
In addition to money raised by event participants, some local companies and organizations are covering registration costs and/or matching their employees' fundraising totals.
Luikart said as participants are registered, a personal donation page is created on the event's web site including their name and personal fundraising goal.
A link to that personal page can be sent via e-mail or other social media to friends and family.
Donors who wish to support the participant in the event can make a credit card gift on this secure site, see the names of the participant's other donors and check on progress toward the participant's fundraising goal.
Progressive Foam, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Mark's Place are platinum sponsors of this year's event investing over $10,000 each, and there are currently well over 30 local teams on track to contribute over $1,500 each according to Luikart.