As we head into the second half of 2015, Shake It Up Founder Clyde Campbell shares the highlights of the past twelve months.
It is with great satisfaction and appreciation that I provide this update on the progress of Shake It Up over the last 12 months. With two new projects funded and the continuation of six others there is no doubt that we have maintained our commitment to fund world-leading Australian Parkinson’s research. In fact our total commitment since establishment just four years ago is now over $2.1M.
A particularly encouraging fact is that we are seeing more and more grant applications being submitted and approved through The Michael J. Fox Foundation from Australian researchers. We look forward to sharing news of these projects as they get started.
In addition to funding research we have continued our role as a credible and reliable source of Parkinson’s research news. One of the ways we communicate this information has been through our webinar series which saw us share the latest in Deep Brian Stimulation as well as the Genetics of Parkinson’s. We look forward to producing more webinars throughout the next 12 months.
To share Shake It Up’s positive message we rely heavily on the support of our community, our corporate partners and our Ambassadors. Through all of these networks, our reach continues to grow and we very much appreciate everyone’s efforts in this regard.
Specifically, we are delighted to announce the recent appointment of three new Ambassadors to the team. Tom Williams (host of The Daily Edition), Kate Matheson (digital media guru) and Phoebes Garland (fashionista and industry mentor) are all passionate about finding a cure for Parkinson’s and are driven by close personal connections to the disease. They join long time Shake It Up Ambassador Liz Cantor (Ch. 7) who has been supporting the Foundation since its inception.
Our team has also grown since my last update with Melanie Smith and Vanessa Kelso joining the team as our Events Manager and Communications Manager respectively. Both Melanie and Vanessa bring with them a passion to make a difference and solid industry experience. They look forward to working with you to help bring your events to reality and to share your Parkinson’s story.
For World Parkinson’s Day in April we launched the inaugural Pause4Parkinson’s campaign. The goal of the campaign was for individual and corporate supporters across the country to stop, pause and give a voice to those affected by Parkinson’s. I am delighted to share that over 3,000 people participated in the campaign by attending morning teas, car washes, cocktail events and more in their work places, homes and local venues. To everyone involved; the hosts,the organisers, the guests, the supporters, the donors – thank you! Your voices were heard all over the country.
Of course funding research is a costly exercise and it cannot happen without the ongoing support of our community. This year I am pleased to announce that in addition to the army of people fundraising for Shake It Up on a weekly basis, we have also been named as a beneficiary for two private ancillary funds. These significant contributions make a huge difference to the volume of research we support. In closing, I want to thank you most sincerely for being a supporter of Shake It Up as collectively we strive for better treatments and ultimately a cure. Of course our quest requires endurance. We still need funds to get to that cure. I hope you are able to continue to support Parkinson’s research and I urge you to share our vision and successes with your family, friends and colleagues.
See more on how you can get involved in the next 12 months!