The best efforts are created from the bottom up, not from the top down I have learned. It’s individuals coming together to make a difference, to champion their cause that create impact and change. This Saturday, one of my colleagues, Sara K, is leading a race she organized and successfully built in honor of her parents and specifically for her dad who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
Last year Sara K’s mom mentioned their local Bismarck Parkinson’s support group could use some fundraising and she thought maybe a pancake breakfast could be organized. The money raised would help cover the cost of speakers and help members attend conferences. Sara decided upon instead a local race as a fundraiser. This Saturday will be the 2nd annual Dakota River Runners Race for Parkinson’s in Bismarck, North Dakota. I asked Sara if I could blog about her initiative and she agreed.
|Sara K (second from the left) along with her husband, kids and parents.|
“The first year race saw 300 people participate and raised over $4,000. This money helped bring in specialists to their (Parkinson’s support group) conference and also allowed members of the support group, my parents included, “scholarship” money to attend a Parkinson’s conference in Minneapolis. The community has been very supportive. Last year we had less than 6 sponsors, this year we have 12 and we have organizations approaching us asking to sponsors next year’s race. I think many people know someone with Parkinson’s Disease, but not many in the community knew about the support group. As a result of the race, the support group saw a dramatic increase in the number of members. In addition, both television stations and the Bismarck Tribune covered the event last year. Long term goals would be to continue to grow the event and possibly add additional races/events to include youth events and possibly a half marathon. We would really like to hit 500 participants in the next couple of years and help raise over $5,000.”
No matter what your cause is, your voice can make a difference. No cause is too minor or major. Whether you do it on a local level like Sara or join thousands to take on an issue at a national level like thousands of rural and farm stakeholders did, your action can create change. Sitting back and waiting for someone else to do the work won’t create the change. But only engaging and championing your cause will truly empower you to see change.