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All Pedaling for Parkinson’s funds for research

PARRY SOUND - As if organizers of the Pedaling for Parkinson’s event didn’t have enough to be proud of, another goal set out by organizers was reached last week.

Since its inception last summer, event co-founders Peter Istvan and David Newall have requested funds raised from the event go to Parkinson’s research at Parkinson Society Central and Northern Ontario.

As of Monday morning, $52,974 was raised from the July 13 to 15 event.

“I know of a few more donations coming in, so we might actually hit $53,000,” wrote Istvan in an email. “How very cool. So, compared to last year, we tripled the number of riders involved and tripled the total dollars raised.”

As a result of the fundraising success, Parkinson Society Canada CEO Debbie Davis sent a message to Istvan and Newall, saying all of their funds will go to researching a cure for Parkinson’s.

“Parkinson Society Canada is the only organization that specifically funds Parkinson’s research in Canada,” said Davis. “The National Research Program invests in Canadian research from the ground up - starting with the discovery stage - funding only those projects that meet a standard of excellence and that are relevant to Parkinson’s. Our approach to funding means that rather than awarding a  limited number of large projects, we fund a larger number of smaller grants to researchers working on a wide variety of projects. The result is more researchers exploring novel ideas, providing a crucial foundation for advancing knowledge, improving treatments, developing potential therapies and ultimately finding a cure.”

Davis added that funds raise through Pedaling for Parkinson’s will fund, in its entirety, one of the research projects in Central Northern Ontario that has met the standards of the Scientific Advisory Board.

“Basically, there is now an official Pedaling for Parkinson’s Research Grant, and 100 per cent of all funds raised during the event, will go for this grant, then researchers can apply for this funding,” said Istvan. “Everything that we used to run this year’s event was donated. We did not have any registration fees, so all the things you saw - food, water, etc - was donated. All money raised went to research. Dave and I are obviously pleased that the fundraising goal was exceeded and we are almost $53,000 closer to a cure. The success of the event was a result of the passion and dedication of the riders, help from volunteers and support of local organizations.”

Plans are already underway for July 12-14, 2013 Pedaling for Parkinson’s event.

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