DANVILLE, Calif., Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When the Danville d'Elegance Foundation set its sight on showcasing care for those afflicted with the debilitating Parkinson's disease, its more than 200 volunteers stepped in to provide passion and support to what has now become an annual tradition within the historic town of Danville. With a mere six years under its belt, the Danville d'Elegance Foundation, through its annual Danville Concours d'Elegance weekend of fundraising events, has already proven itself as "the little Concours that could" — raising more than $1 million to benefit Parkinson's research and patient care.
The yearly event is one in which car collectors, automotive enthusiasts and the local community gather together to leverage "Cool Cars for a Cause." For 2010 alone, weekend events including a Gala Dinner/Auction at the famed Blackhawk Museum, secured more than $250,000 in donations, earned through unique auction items, gifts, contributions and sponsorships, which benefitted both The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) and The Parkinson's Institute. This year's Danville d'Elegance weekend will be held September 17-18, 2011 and is presented by Elan Pharmaceuticals, 2011 Presenting Sponsor for the Danville Concours d'Elegance. Elan Pharmaceuticals is a leader in neuroscience-based biotechnology, with principal research and development, manufacturing and marketing facilities located in Ireland and the United States.
Since its inception in 2004, the Danville d'Elegance Foundation has aligned with The Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has furthered its association for Parkinson's research by also aligning with MJFF, and specifically Team Fox, the grassroots community fundraising arm of MJFF. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from the Danville events are donated to MJFF, with nearly $200,000 donated to MJFF from the Danville d'Elegance Foundation in 2010.
2011 Inaugural "Tour d'Elegance"
To further the passion of car enthusiasts throughout the community and the Bay region, for 2011, an additional automotive element has been added to the weekend of car desire – a "Tour d'Elegance" program which will include a cavalcade of cool cars that will be taking a scenic drive from the Danville/Lafayette area up to the beautiful Calistoga region through a series of back-roads and nearly untraveled paths.
Beginning at the Lafayette Park Hotel and heading to Calistoga for an outdoor lunch on the majestic 80-acre Diamond Creek Vineyard grounds, participants can tour in their own vehicle, (either current model or collectible), or take part in a selection of brand new luxury and exotic choices provided by sponsoring manufacturers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Lotus, Jaguar and BMW. Entry fees begin at $150 and registration can be found at www.danville-delegance.org . This year's "Tour" celebrates the memory of legendary race car driver Phil Hill and the 50th anniversary of his earning the momentous World Driver's Championship as America's First Formula One Champion. Phil was a great supporter of the Danville d'Elegance Foundation, and succumbed to Parkinson's at the age of 81.
According to Jim Edlund, Co-Chairman of Danville Concours d'Elegance, the initial program began with both a passion and a cause, but has evolved to become a mainstay in the community that touches the heart of all involved. The event itself is run by more than 200 volunteers, all with a personal connection to the Parkinson's cause.
"When we first began in 2004 we were hoping to create a broader awareness of Parkinson's disease, but didn't want it to be just a fundraising effort – we were looking to enrich our support through activities that spark passion and create community involvement," said Edlund. "Since cars have always held a universal emotional appeal, we've found that by blending the intrigue that both collectible and technologically enhanced modern day vehicles provide, with a cause that touches so many, we've been fortunate enough to exceed our goals each year."
About Danville d'Elegance Foundation
Danville d'Elegance Foundation is dedicated to supporting organizations in their pursuit to find a cure for Parkinson's disease, while specifically raising funds to benefit the advancement of Parkinson's research and patient care. Since 2004, and through the generous support of corporate and personal sponsors, the Foundation has raised in excess of $1 million for this debilitating cause. All of the annual weekend activities for Danville d'Elegance are planned, supported and completely run by a team of more than 200 volunteers, a majority whose lives have been touched by Parkinson's disease. The Foundation's funding efforts are aligned with both The Michael J. Fox Foundation and The Parkinson's Institute.
For more information, please visit www.danville-delegance.org – or feel free to contact Deb Pollack (t) 805-320-9248 (e) firstname.lastname@example.org or Bill Bauernfeind (t) 925-596-1964 (e) email@example.com .
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest private funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $250 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. Now through December 31, 2012, all new, returning and increased giving to The Michael J. Fox Foundation will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with the $50-million Brin Wojcicki Challenge, launched by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki.
About The Parkinson's Institute
The Parkinson's Institute (The PI), located in Sunnyvale, Calif., provides comprehensive patient care, while discovering new treatment options to improve the quality of life for all Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. As America's only independent non-profit organization combining research and patient care for PD under one roof, we are committed to changing the landscape of movement disorder treatment and research. Since its founding in 1988, The PI has helped thousands of PD patients better manage their disease, developed new treatments for PD, and published groundbreaking research aimed to close the gap between science and practical care. By focusing on all three avenues of PD – cause, care and cure, The PI is a powerful force in PD research.
To learn more about The Parkinson's Institute, visit: http://www.thepi.org/
About Elan Pharmaceuticals
Elan Corporation, plc is a neuroscience-based biotechnology company committed to making a difference in the lives of patients and their families by dedicating itself to bringing innovations in science to fill significant unmet medical needs that continue to exist around the world. Elan shares trade on the New York and Irish Stock Exchanges. For additional information about the Company, please visit www.elan.com.
SOURCE Danville d’Elegance Foundation