Our 2020 Fundraising Heroes
Friday, 8th January 2021

2020 was an extremely difficult year and with most of us in isolation or practicing social distancing, it was also a challenging year for fundraising. Shake It Up made it through 2020 with the support of our fundraisers, generous donors and corporate sponsors who are committed to finding treatments that slow, stop and prevent progression, ultimately leading to a cure for Parkinson’s.

As we navigate 2021 together, Shake It Up would like to thank our supporters who have been so integral to our success in 2020. In no particular order let’s have a look back on some of our fundraising heroes for 2020.

The Clark’s take their Curry Night online

In the midst of an Australia-wide Covid-19 lockdown, the Clark’s transformed their annual Pause 4 Parkinson’s Curry Night into a virtual event with takeaway curries available to order and an online stream of their raffle draw with family and friends. Deb Clark said of the event, “A Facebook event was established outlining the changes and the process of ordering curries and buying raffle tickets. We made regular updates to keep people informed. Interestingly, many who were unable to attend the original date were now able to make an order and enjoy the curries, as well as support the event. Initially, we were concerned that we would have lots of curry leftover but the opposite was true! We were making additional curries every day for a week. We also received orders from friends’ neighbours and community members whom we didn’t know.”

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Kate runs 2020km in 2020

Kate ran a huge 2020 kilometres throughout 2020 to raise funds for Shake It Up. Her idea turned out to be perfect for the Covid-19 conditions, as she could still go on her runs through the scenic Blue Mountains and ask for online donations from family and friends. Kate said the challenge was hard but  absolutely worth it and she crossed the 2020km finish line in the period between Christmas and New Years 2020. “At the end of last year, I decided to set myself a goal of running 2020km in 2020. But then I thought who else could this goal benefit? So, I set up a fundraising page with a goal of $2020 for 2020 km for Shake It Up and just went for it. Because I didn’t tie myself to one event this has been a blessing. I can still put in the km while we are all social distancing.”

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Ryan runs as Forrest Gump for Shake It Up

Inspired by his Aunty Denise who has Parkinson’s, Ryan ran a half marathon or marathon every month dressed as Forrest Gump to raise funds for Shake It Up. Ryan originally planned to complete running events which were all cancelled or rescheduled, so instead, he got moving around a local park, pounding the pavement and taking his fundraising online. His fundraising was very successful and his story was picked up by an number of local media outlets, including the Geelong Advertiser and 3AW Radio Melbourne.

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CrossFit Smash Canberra burpee challenge

Averil and the team at CrossFit Smash Canberra embarked on a huge challenge this year for the Shake It Up Virtual Challenge. They committed to 100 burpees per day for 100 days! It was an extremely difficult challenge but together they banded together and made it through, raising significant funds for Shake It Up in the process. Averil spoke about their inspiration for the challenge, saying “Almost 15 years ago my Mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Like many others, she initially hid her symptoms and simply ‘got on with it’ as a highly capable, intelligent and hard working baby boomer. Watching her navigate through life as her condition progressed over the years has been both inspiring and heartbreaking.

My Mums wish now is to help the world better understand Parkinson’s and to find a cure for the generations that come after her. The incredible team at CrossFit Smash Canberra and I hope to honour this wish by supporting the amazing work of Shake It Up Australia.”

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Monkey Mia boys do Covid-19 Desert Trip

The Monkey Mia boys didn’t let Covid-19 stop them this year, taking on a desert challenge when the restrictions eased. The boys (Harry Chisholm and Jim Salter, Phil Davies, Dave Cato and Andrew Urquhart), have now completed 3 outback challenges and raised over $117k  for Parkinson’s Research over the 3 years. What an incredible achievement! We spoke with Andrew who said of their success, “I think our success has come from a fortunate group of mates and most of our funds have come from friends and relations. They’ve been very generous with large donations. My best advice would be to create a large email list of all your friends and family and colleagues and keep emailing them with updates on your fundraising and challenge.”

They also hosted a very successful online art auction with friends and family after the desert trip.

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Amaysim Team Challenge themselves for Parkinson’s

A big team of legends at Amaysim, led by Jimi, challenged themselves to run 30 mins per day for 30 days and raise money for Shake It Up. The team had over 30 members all eager to help.  Over their 30 day challenge, they completed over 4,168km (that’s the distance between Sydney and Perth!!) and over 36,000 active minutes. The team found the challenge rewarding and invigorating, and we’ve been inspired by their commitment to the cause.

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Maddy and Judy’s September Shuffle

Inspired by Judy’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, Maddy and Judy started a challenge to walk 10,000 steps per day and drink no alcohol for the month of September. Their friends, family and community have come out in force to support the duo with their challenge and donating generously with one goal in mind – a cure for Parkinson’s. Maddy said they chose to fundraise for Shake It Up because “I love what the organisation stands for. It brings such positive awareness to Parkinson’s Disease and liberates people who have the disease, and their families – with content that is insightful and forward-thinking. I’ve found there is such a hopeless perception of people affected by Parkinson’s Disease and I think Shake It Up is a great platform to educate Australia on what the disease is and what we can do to help it.”

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Dom runs 100km for Parkinson’s

Last year, Dom challenged himself to run 100km in a single effort. This enormous challenge was inspired by Dom’s uncle Gaz and the challenges Parkinson’s brings to his life. Dom said “We have watched Gaz totally lose his independence. When he couldn’t balance on a pushbike properly on a family holiday in Vietnam we all had a bit of a laugh, including Gaz. Fast forward eight years and he is wheelchair bound, requires assistance in all aspects of his life, is unable to verbally communicate or hold a facial expression, requires full time care in a modified house and even the thought of going outside is an enormous challenge.”

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Everest on Mt Coolum Challenge

Originally planned as a trip to Nepal to climb Everest Base Camp, the team put their plans aside due to Coronavirus and instead sought a new challenge – to climb the same distance in their own locations and on Mt Coolum. That meant climbing Mt Coolum 8 times a day for 5 days! Together they raised $10,755 for Parkinson’s and a lot of awareness as they were featured on lots of local media like ABC Sunshine Coast Radio, Channel 7 and local newspapers and magazines.

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Honouring Dickybird

Bianca, her Mum and family took to the Whitten Oval in late 2020 to honour Dad and husband, Dickybird. Together they walked 71 laps of the oval – one lap for every year of his life – and raised $1,817 towards a cure for Parkinson’s. This remarkable effort took 7.5 hours and was spurred on by friends and family inspired by one of Dickybird’s favourite phrases ‘knock ’em dead!

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Suzanne runs for Rog

Suzanne took on an almighty challenge in the second half of 2020. She ran 130km in 14  days – the same distance and time it took her father to complete Everest Base Camp. Suzanne was honouring her father, who had Parkinson’s, and challenging herself to get the message out there about Parkinson’s. Suzanne said “I watched my Dad deteriorate over 7 years to Parkinsons Disease. My Dad was fit, healthy and strong before Parkinson’s took over his life. He was a fitness fanatic who ended up being wheelchair bound. He was the kindest man who ended up losing all of his language. I’m committed to finding a cure in honour of my Dad and his fight with this cruel disease but also for all the victims and carers who are still fighting this battle every day.” We’re with you, Suzanne!

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As we navigate 2021 together, Shake It Up would like to thank our supporters who have been so integral to our success in 2020.

Help us take on 2021 together, spread awareness about Parkinson’s disease with your community and get involved with fundraising for research towards a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Find out more today about how you can help by contacting our Community Fundraising and Events Manager, Isobel or see more information on ways to get involved on our website