2011 Parkinson's Unity Walk to Take Place on Saturday, April 16 in New York City's Central Park

Mar 31, 2011, 08:00 ET from The Parkinson Alliance

Largest single-day grassroots event to raise awareness and funds for the Parkinson's community

KINGSTON, N.J., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Parkinson Alliance announced today that the 2011 Parkinson's Unity Walk will take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011, in New York City's Central Park. The Parkinson's Unity Walk, under the umbrella of The Parkinson Alliance, is the largest grassroots awareness and fundraising event for the Parkinson's disease (PD) community, attracting thousands of participants from across the country and uniting the top Parkinson's research and advocacy organizations.

At this year's Unity Walk, Find a Cure Boulevard will be renamed as Margot Zobel Way in honor of the Unity Walk's founder, who passed away last year. Ms. Zobel, who had Parkinson's disease, single-handedly rallied a small group of supporters to create the Parkinson's Unity Walk in 1994, an event that has grown from 200 to more than 10,000 walkers in 2010. Last year, over $1.5M was raised for Parkinson's research.

"Margot was determined to fight Parkinson's disease and she brought the entire Parkinson's community together with her positive spirit," said Carol Walton, CEO of The Parkinson Alliance. "The Parkinson's Unity Walk is Margot's proud legacy and it is only fitting that we rename Find a Cure Boulevard for her on this day of education, empowerment and celebration of the strides we're making toward finding new therapies and, hopefully one day, a cure."

The Unity Walk will begin earlier with a shorter Walk route. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Bandshell at 72nd Street in Central Park. The Unity Walk Kick-Off will start at 9:45 a.m., followed by a 1-mile, wheelchair-accessible walk through the Park. The shorter route will allow participants more time to enjoy the Park and take part in this day of community and education.

On Find A Cure Boulevard, participants will have the opportunity to visit with representatives from national Parkinson's disease foundations and specialists at the "Ask the Doctor Booth," as well as enjoy music, entertainment and refreshments.  Dance for PD®, a collaboration between the world-famous Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, will perform two demonstrations of its movement class.  Ana Egge, a singer, songwriter and longstanding friend of the Parkinson's community, will also perform. Starbucks is generously donating coffee for all participants.

In addition, visitors to Find a Cure Boulevard will once again have the opportunity to spend time at the booths of the Walk's many sponsors, including the Abbott booth where they can have their pictures taken at the Messages of Hope™ Wall and leave messages of inspiration and encouragement for the Parkinson's disease community. The global healthcare company Abbott, is our proud partner and premier sponsor and will donate $15 per message, up to $15,000, to the Unity Walk. The Messages of Hope™ Wall was introduced at the 2009 Parkinson's Unity Walk and a Messages of Hope™ photo gallery of past events can be found online at www.KnowPD.com.

Video highlights of the Unity Walk will be accessible on the organization's website starting on Tuesday, April 19 and remain archived online for one year. More information about the Unity Walk, including registration materials, is available at www.UnityWalk.org.

Since the inception of the Walk, one hundred percent of all of the donations raised for the Unity Walk has been and continues to be designated for research. Proceeds from the event are shared among the seven major Parkinson's disease foundations: American Parkinson Disease Association, National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson's Action Network, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, The Parkinson Alliance and The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center.

Join us! To register or make a donation, go to www.unitywalk.org or call 866-789-9255.

About The Parkinson Alliance

The Parkinson Alliance is the umbrella organization for the Parkinson's Unity Walk. The Kingston, NJ-based national non-profit organization is dedicated to raising funds to help finance the most promising research to find the cause and cure for Parkinson's disease. Through the generous operational support of The Tuchman Foundation and our numerous partnerships, 100 percent of all individual donations to The Parkinson Alliance and all net proceeds from events go directly to fund research.

For more information, visit www.ParkinsonAlliance.org and www.UnityWalk.org

Contacts: Nicole Risdall
MSL New York

Helaine Isaacs
Parkinson Alliance

SOURCE The Parkinson Alliance