Fundraising Your Way is an event program developed in recognition of the creative ways people who are passionate about a world without Parkinson’s are choosing to make their mark in support of Parkinson Canada. For more information on how you can create a unique fundraiser in your community, visit Fundraising Your Way.
Rudy Erfle was only 47 years old, when he first heard the words, “You have Parkinson’s disease.” It was a complete shock for his family, including his daughter Marina, who asked, “Is Daddy going to die?”
The Erfle family was an active bunch and one thing they loved to share was exercise, especially going for runs. For the last couple of years, Rudy and Marina spoke about organizing a run for Parkinson’s but never really put their vision into action.
“2018 being the 10-year anniversary of my dad’s diagnosis, we thought it would be the perfect time to host our first annual Rudy’s Run for Parkinson’s,” says Marina. After several months of emails back and forth with the city of Pointe-Claire, a suburb of Montreal, Quebec, and with the support of the team at Parkinson Canada, Rudy’s Run was scheduled for August 18, 2018.
Rudy’s Run was established to help educate the community about Parkinson’s disease and more importantly for anyone living with Parkinson’s, to raise funds for research.
There is no cure.
The morning of the event was tense—the city of Pointe-Claire had given the organizers access to the park for that morning only, which meant they had less than one hour to get the entire event set up. Thankfully the volunteers arrived bright and early, enjoying coffee and home-made muffins, and then quickly setting up. From 7 am onwards, Marina was running … and not in the actual event, but running to make sure everything was organized and going smoothly.
Her sister created a schedule for the day (i.e. what needs to happen when) and there were physiotherapists, massage tables, a face painter, a raffle organizer, food stations, and a music stage with three different bands that played throughout that day.
Through Rudy’s connections, participants were delighted to meet Yvan Cournoyer, Réjean Houle, and Dick Irvin, well-known sports celebrities, who came to the event to speak and to sign autographs! The event was a huge success!
Rudy’s Run was born!
“Despite Dad’s positive attitude, it is impossible to ignore how Parkinson’s takes away from our lives by slowly removing his ability to do normal things,” says Marina.
Over 200 people gathered that day and what started off with a $25,000 goal was completely blown away by the donations received. As soon as the event ended, people were already talking about next year’s event.
“There are no words to describe the love and support my family felt at our event, Rudy’s Run for Parkinson’s. I have said it countless times but it will never be said enough,” adds Marina. “Thank you to every single individual who volunteered, participated, and donated. Your contribution is what made the event the success that it was!”
Together we can make a difference.
One day, we will find a cure.
Do you have an idea for an event? Don’t know where to start? Visit Parkinson Canada’s Fundraising Your Way or call 1-800-565-3000 for more information.
To find out more about the Parkinson Canada Research Program, visit www.parkinson.ca/research
To make a donation online today, visit www.parkinson.ca/getinvolved/waystogive