A North Grenville resident has singlehandedly raised over $10,000 for Parkinson’s research. This is John Spiro’s 13th year participating in the Parkinson SuperWalk, a nation-wide fundraiser to raise money for Parkinson Canada. He got involved with the walk when he himself was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. “I wanted to help find the solution,” he says.
Over his 12 years with the walk, he has raised $42,000 for Parkinson Canada, and last year he hit a personal high of $7,500. He says he made the goal of $10,000 for this year to try and surpass last year’s personal best. John is very well connected in the community and surrounding area, as he plays bridge, euchre, and is an avid golfer. He also has a part-time job driving for Myers Automotive Group. He asked his friends, neighbours, playing partners, and colleagues for support, many of whom knew about his goal and were very generous. “I usually go to Tims for coffee in the morning, so I hit up that group too,” he says.
His fundraising effort was also bolstered by a golf tournament he organized in June at Rideau Glenn Golf Club. “That was the kick to the fundraising this year,” John says. “We raised between five and six thousand dollars.”
Although John does have a page on the Parkinson SuperWalk website, he prefers to do most of his fundraising face to face. “I like the personal touch better,” he says. It’s a lot of work, and you have to talk to a lot of people to raise as much money as John has, but, clearly, he was up for the challenge. “I am retired, so I would rather be doing something than just sitting,” he says. “I don’t even own a TV.”
As of right now, John has surpassed his goal and hit the $11,300 mark. He hopes to get to $12,000 before the walk on September 9 in Ottawa. It is possible that he will be the top fundraiser for the Parkinson SuperWalk in Canada.
According to the Parkinson SuperWalk website, the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s is on the rise, with more than 25 people being diagnosed per day in Canada. That number is projected to rise to 51 new diagnoses a day by 2031. The Parkinson Superwalk is the largest nationwide fundraising event for Parkinson Canada. Approximately 10,000 people, from coast to coast, organize and take part in the walk every year. Since 1990, the walk has raised $35 million for support services, research, advocacy, and education.