Monica Shake It Up for a Parkinson’s Cure
Tuesday, 6th May 2014

This weeks’ Shake It Up hero is Monica Hall! Diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 45, with the help of her family and friends Monica is taking a proactive approach to finding a cure. Monica recently put on a movie night which raised just under $7000! Hear how she did it as well as other exciting things her team has in store:

What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s

It is my gorgeous children and wonderful husband who keep me so committed to finding a cure. As well as my husband; my siblings, my extended family, my dear friends, plus others who I have met who journey with Parkinson’s (especially a small group of wonderfully vibrant women from the Parkinson’s community in their 30’s and 40’s and their families).

Why Shake It Up Australia?

One of my incredible sisters, Ally Wood (hero of the week), wanted a cure found; she was prepared to go to the extreme measure of running a 105km Ultramarathon to raise money for research to achieve this goal.

With Ally’s stipulation in mind, I started my research. Shake It Up Australia was the clear winner given finding a cure is its primary focus. Shake it Up also works in conjunction with other world leading foundations involved in research for a cure, and as the foundation covers the administrative costs ensuring every cent of money raised goes toward research for a cure it makes every cent count. We felt that by supporting Shake it Up Australia we were giving ourselves, our best chance, of a cure, being found, hence the name of our team.

Tell us what you are doing to Shake Things Up?

With the help of my sisters and close friends, I organized a terrific movie night, raising $5,929.00 supporting ‘Ally Runs for Parkinson’s Cure’ / Our Best Chance (for Cure), with every cent going to Shake It Up Australia.

This week we are also supporting Ally as she runs the Yurrebilla Ultra 56km on the weekend, then the Heysen 105km on Oct 19th.  I kick in again on Sunday mornings in November, running come and try sessions, ChiBall, Restorative Fitness, plus a bit of Dru Yoga and more. As of next week, I am resuming teaching a ChiBall class for people affected by Parkinson’s and for the next eight week block all class fees will be donated to Shake It Up Australia.

We have more in the pipeline! My sister Margot is aiming for a great fundraising dinner early next year. One of my dearest friends is planning a girl’s night in and my sister Paula has arranged a plain clothes Friday at her workplace and friend and a fellow person with Parkinson’s Dee Reynolds and I are looking at combined ventures.

How did you go about executing your movie night?

We selected our theatre for location, cost structure and ability to hold a private screening.

We initially allocated a certain amount of tickets to 6 sellers to reduce the load. We also registered with an online booking agent to make it easier for people to purchase them online.

For the raffle we spoke to; local hairdressers, our favourite restaurants, homeware stores, beauticians, bakery’s, florists, fitness centres, extended family, requesting, if possible, an item or voucher for raffle prizes or supplies as needed. We took a more personal approach and people were extremely generous. We had $2000 worth of prizes collected.

For the food, our butcher donated the mince for our spicy Thai chicken balls and delicious meatballs and the local chicken shop offered their chickens at a greatly reduced price to make our chicken sandwiches. The bakery donated bread and the grocer some additional ingredients. Friends, children, sisters, everyone pitched in to make the delicious array of sandwiches, mini quiches, meat and chicken balls, delightful meringues and great cupcakes.

My sister Margot organized the printing of the tickets, posters (A4, A3) and beverages (stunning selection of wines, also beer and soft drink).

Of the money raised $2010 came from the sale of raffle tickets ($2 for1, $10 for 6, $20 for 12) and $3,919 from the sale of movie tickets.

Greatest Challenge?

Co-ordinating such an event so close to recent Deep Brain Stimulation surgery.

Greatest Reward?

There were two.

Seeing my friends, families, and loved ones, with their friends, families and loved ones, gathered together, with such great energy, such support, and such generosity, laughing, enjoying and celebrating life. Knowing we were making a difference. What a brilliant night!

Being able to say to thank you to Ally by showing her the grand total so far, and letting her know that all those long hours, early mornings and months of hard, hard training are giving us exactly what she wanted, Our Best Chance (for a cure).

In this video below Monica shares her personal story.