Inaugural Danville "Tour d'Elegance" Merges Exotic, Luxury and Vintage Cars to Drive Funds for Parkinson's Research and Patient Care

Auto Aficionados, Car Collectors and OEM's Gather for One-Day Drive in Celebration of America's 1st Formula One Champion and Showcasing "Cool Cars for a Cause"

Sep 06, 2011, 15:00 ET from Danville d’Elegance Foundation

DANVILLE, Calif., Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When Phil Hill, America's first Formula One World Champion, succumbed at age 81 to Parkinson's disease in 2008, he was not only regarded as a legend in racing history, but he was known as a champion for a larger cause – helping to raise funds within the car world to benefit "The Parkinson's Institute" (TPI) and specifically toward enhancing Parkinson's research and patient care.  Thanks to his initial personal involvement in the Danville d'Elegance Foundation, which creates an annual weekend of car-related fundraising events supporting both TPI and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, this year's program on September 17-18, will be celebrating Hill and the 50th anniversary of his momentous victory.

The overall Danville d'Elegance weekend, presented for 2011 by Elan Pharmaceuticals, has become an annual tradition in the historic town of Danville, Calif., and is run solely by its more than 200 volunteers who in six short years, have raised more than $1 million to benefit the Parkinson's cause.  This year, the weekend program adds an all-new event to the mix, with a "Tour d'Elegance," on Saturday, September 17th, honoring its "Gentleman Driver," Phil Hill.  In addition to the participation of auto enthusiast members of the local community and the Bay region, the program has gained support of luxury and exotic carmakers nationwide and local car dealers, contributing the use of various premium and sports car models for donors to enjoy during a scenic drive into Calistoga.

"Our relationship with Phil Hill was quite special," said Jim Edlund, co-founder of the Danville d'Elegance Foundation.  "We first met at the Parkinson's Institute, and I shared our ideas for this type of event," said Edlund.  "From day one he, Alma and Derek were on board to help...Alma told me it was the one event he really wanted to go to each year and did, up to the year we lost our Friend – for us, it's a real honor, just to celebrate his milestone and attach it to something in which he would have found meaningful."

2011 Inaugural "Tour d'Elegance"

The inaugural "Tour d'Elegance" will be held on the morning of September 17, 2011 and departs Lafayette, Calif., before winding its way along the backroads of Napa Valley -- arriving at Diamond Creek Vineyards in Calistoga for a private lunch on the winery's beautiful 80-acre grounds.

This year's Tour route has been specifically designed by nationally-renown rally promoter Nigel Evans of Rallyrace, and will encompass 165 miles round-trip.  Diamond Creek Vineyard, founded in 1968,, is California's first exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard, and with its crystal pure waters, ideal microclimates, unique soil personality and traditional artisan winemaking, has joined to create fine rare wines cherished by connoisseurs the world over.

Beginning at the Lafayette Park Hotel, 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 .  

Danville d'Elegance Weekend of Events

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.

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 are planned, supported and completely run by the Danville d'Elegance Foundation, which is comprised of a small group of dedicated volunteers, a majority whose lives have been touched by Parkinson's. These members work throughout the year and are supported on day of the event(s) with more than 200 volunteers.  The Foundation's funding efforts are aligned with both The Michael J. Fox Foundation and The Parkinson's Institute.

For more information, please visit – or feel free to contact Deb Pollack (t) 805-320-9248 (e)  or Bill Bauernfeind (t) 925-596-1964 (e)   .

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.

To learn more, visit or

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:

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

Press Contact:
Deb Pollack (t) 805-320-9248 (e)

SOURCE Danville d’Elegance Foundation