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My dad lived with Parkinson's for nearly 15 years before his passing this past November from complications of this terrible disease.  Sadly, my family and I had to watch this disease continually break our father, a man of such high character and strong morals, both physically and mentally.  When people think of Parkinson's disease they most often identify with the disruption of motor skills and physical disabilities. However, in my father's case, he not only endured the physical effects but suffered and struggled even more with the mental deterioration. Parkinson's not only affects a person's physical movements and visible expressions, but also their mental and emotional capabilities.  For our family, especially our mother, this was the most difficult aspect of this disease. 


As a son, it was very difficult to not only watch the impact Parkinsons had on my father, but to see the impact it had on my mother, who dedicated her life to being a full-time caregiver for my dad. If it weren't for my amazing mother, with the support of Samaritan, my father's progression and quality of life would have been a fraction of what it was. The importance of caregiver support can not be understated and Samaritan Hospice is an area, along with our local Parkinson's community we plan to get more involved with. This, in addition to continuing our relationship with the incredible The Michael J. Fox Foundation who have recently made breakthroughs in the fight against Parkinson's disease, will be our focus in the hopes of contributing to finding a cure for this awful disease.


In just our 11th year we continued to grow our event with nearly 500 people in attendance over our 2-day event, including our Welcome Reception (held on Thursday, the night before the outing) & Charity Golf Outing - "Putt for Parkinson's."  Our success would not have been possible without the team effort and hard work from all those on our Event Committee (including my wife, mother, sister, sister-in-law & cousin) and all of those who attended our event or donated to this great cause.  We were able to raise over $50,000 in 2023 (over $260,000 since 2013) and expect to continue to improve our success with this event each year going forward.  Our hope is that through the aid of our fundraising efforts and the help of other donors, doctors will be able to develop a more effective treatment and medication plan to better treat Parkinson's Disease patients, like my father.


Lastly, I just want my dad to know that he is my role model, my hero, and the best father a son could ask for. While I am thankful that you are no longer in pain, I am sad for what Parkinson's took from you, mom and our family. I know you are looking down on all of us and likely playing the guitar. I miss you dearly and love you, Dad.

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