The American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA) announces the start of the 2021 APDA Optimism Walk season, kicking off with three virtual Walks on May 22, 2021.

Due to the success of the 2020 virtual Walks, the Optimism Walks will remain virtual for springtime events. The remainder of the Walk season is scheduled to take place in person throughout the fall, with full adherence to all public health guidelines and safety measures.

The Optimism Walks are APDA’s signature fundraising event series and a nationwide movement to mobilize and inspire people to step up and help put an end to Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a media release.

“This past year has been difficult in so many ways, especially for the Parkinson’s disease community who were already dealing with the challenges of life with PD. But there have been bright spots as well, one of those being our virtual Optimism Walks which enable us to come together in a safe way, and also expand to a much wider audience thanks to the virtual nature of the events.”

— Leslie A. Chambers, President and CEO, APDA

How to Get Involved

1. Be a virtual walker: Register for one of the three virtual Optimism Walks taking place on May 22: the Massachusetts Optimism Walk, the Northwest Optimism Walk, and the Virginia Optimism Walk. Participants do not need to live in or near one of these states to participate – anyone can join from anywhere.

Participants in all three Walks come together online for a fun and festive virtual Opening Ceremony & Celebration, and then everyone heads out to walk safely in their own neighborhoods. Participants will be encouraged walk on their own and share photos and comments using #OptimismWalk so together they can still be uplifted by a great sense of community and camaraderie. Everyone will walk separately, but together in solidarity for the PD community.

2. Participate in person: Twelve Optimism Walks will be taking place in person between August and October. “We miss seeing our PD community in person, and we’re excited to reunite with them this fall,” states Chambers. “We take safety seriously, so we’ll be following all recommended guidelines and protocols. But even if the Walks look a little different, we know that the energy and enthusiasm of each Optimism Walk will be there.” Dates and online registration are being finalized now and will be posted as available.

3. Donate to an Optimism Walk: Those who cannot participate can still get involved by making a donation to an Optimism Walk. Funds raised will help provide local programs and services in the area where each Walk is held, and also support nationwide programs and research. Donations to individual walkers, or to the Walk itself, are most welcome. Donors can select the Walk they want to support (and either search for a participant to donate to or make a general donation to the event).

“Access to the right information and support is key to living your best life, and that’s true for the person living with PD as well as care partners, friends and family. APDA is the largest grassroots network serving people with PD and their families. The more funds we raise at each Optimism Walk, the more people we can help every day.”

— Leslie A. Chambers

The funds raised help APDA provide support groups and exercise classes designed specifically for people with PD, which includes a wide array of virtual programming APDA has adapted and created to keep people supported, engaged and informed while they’ve needed to stay at home.

Corporate partners Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals have joined once again as National Sponsors of the full Optimism Walk 2021 event series. Representatives from these companies will participate in the virtual Optimism Walks and also be on hand at many of the in-person events.

Events and Dates

For a full list of events and dates, visit the Optimism Walk section of the APDA website, and see list below.

May 22, 2021        
Massachusetts Optimism Walk            

May 22, 2021            
Northwest Optimism Walk

May 22, 2021            
Virginia Optimism Walk

August 28, 2021    
Atlanta Optimism Walk                            
Pernoshal Park, Dunwoody, GA

August 2021    
Oklahoma Optimism Walk
Venue to be determined

Fall 2021    
Wisconsin Optimism Walk    
Venue to be determined

Sept 11, 2021    
Midwest Optimism Walk
Naperville Riverwalk Park, Naperville, IL

Sept 18, 2021    
Rhode Island Optimism Walk
Goddard State Park, Warwick, RI

Sept 18, 2021    
Iowa Optimism Walk
Principal Park, Des Moines, IA

Sept 18, 2021    
Cape Cod Optimism Walk
Barnstable High School, Hyannis, MA

Sept 25, 2021    
Minnesota Optimism Walk
Roseville Central Park, Roseville, MN

Sept/Oct, 2021    
Long Island Optimism Walk
Venue to be determined

Oct 2021    
Connecticut Optimism Walk
Sherwood Island Park, Westport, CT

Oct 9, 2021    
Greater St. Louis Optimism Walk
Logan University, Chesterfield, MO

Oct 30, 2021    
South Florida Optimism Walk
Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park, Boca Raton, FL

*Dates and venues subject to change.

[Source(s): American Parkinson’s Disease Association, PRWeb]

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