In 2017, a local couple, Jim and Diana Rutherford, organized the first Kingwood “Team Fox” Parkinson’s fundraiser, a 3.1-mile walk, inspired by Diana’s own personal battle with Parkinson’s. Last year’s walk raised more than $25,000, bringing the three-year total to over $66,000.
This year, the family community walk will be held Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon, beginning at 1799 Woodland Hills across from Kingwood United Methodist Church. Individual registrations are $35, or $50 for the entire family.
Team Fox events are fundraisers for Parkinson’s disease across the U.S., in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research which has funded more than $900 million in research programs.
In 1991, Fox, a young 30-year-old actor had his world turned upside down when he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. For seven years he hid his affliction from the public, but in 1998, he went public, retiring on the 100th episode of his successful TV series, “Spin City.” Later that same year, he launched his foundation. Today, that foundation is the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s drug development in the world.
While Fox returned to acting, both on TV and in film, his greatest passion is finding a cure for this cruel disease that strikes both young and old. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder which causes the loss of brain cells which produce dopamine, resulting in a disruption of the signals that coordinate movement. For the patient, that results in loss of control of movement. While the exact cause is unknown, it is suspected that genes may play a role as well as possible exposure to certain chemical toxins.
With support from many community sponsors, including The Tribune, Chachi’s Mexican Restaurant, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Three B’s Grill, la Madeleine, H-E-B, Wild Birds Unlimited, Metronics, Fuddruckers and Kroger, the walk will be a fun family event. More sponsors are being sought at four levels: $100 bronze, for recognition in all publications; $200 silver, plus company name on Team Fox T-shirts; $500 gold, plus booth or display option; and $1,000 diamond, plus complimentary free registration for all company participants, plus event shirts.
All proceeds from the walk benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.