Empowered LIVE! & Speedy Pd set the pace for a great weekend

By Michelle Haub on October 24, 2018

The 10th Annual Speedy Pd Race for Parkinson’s was Saturday, Aug. 25, at Tuttle Creek State Park. The weather was nothing short of steamy, but it didn’t appear to rain on anyone’s enjoyment of the day and the activities. The party-like atmosphere in race headquarters was amazing! This year, more than any other year, it seemed as if people stayed longer and enjoyed their time with family and friends while recharging with Eastside & Westside Markets fresh fruit, Panera bagels, Cox Bros BBQ and Houlihan’s chips & dip. They rehydrated with Pepsi, Hiland Dairy chocolate milk, shaved ice and of course our signature Budweiser beer. People also enjoyed massages from Body First and Premier Chiropractic, as well as, the debut of the Barn Baseball Academy’s Pitching at Parkinson’s Dunk Tank.

   The number of registered participants that enjoyed the beautiful 5k & 10k courses and the Half-Mile Family Fun Run/Walk was a little lower than in 2017as we had 796 (down from 822 in 2017). However, the Team Competition continued to grow again this year and was once again the best year yet! Team Rasmussen continued to lead the pack with their unbroken winning streak of Most Donations Raised. Don Rasmussen and his team of Pups raised an unmatched $7,562! Not only was Team Rasmussen the Alpha Dog for raising donations, but they also did a great job with their costumes in promoting that “Without Pd Services, life would be RUFF.” Their theme helped reinforce the purpose of the Speedy Pd, which is to raise money to help provide Parkinson’s exercise, education, outreach and scholarship to those in the Flint Hills region affected by Parkinson’s free of charge. Dennis Rider led his pack of Team Coyote Crazy to the finish line for the third year in a row as the Largest Social Team! He rounded up 68 of his closest friends and family to howl their way to victory! For the Largest Corporate Team competition, The Loan Rangers from KS State Bank showed they had a good sense of humor and know how to form a large team as they lassoed up 34 rangers for their team! And don’t forget about those Fastest Team awards…Kaw Valley Greenhouses employees sure know how to grow fast twitch fibers as they won the Corporate Award again…remaining undefeated! Team D.A.N.C. ran away with the Fastest Social Award!

   This year marked not only the tenth Anniversary of the Speedy Pd Race for Parkinson’s (sponsored by UMB Bank), but the first year of Empowered LIVE!, a celebration of living well with Pd (sponsored by Vanderbilt’s). It was a wonderful Friday evening at the Holiday Inn Campus! Vendors who provide supplies and services to those affected by Pd were present to help educate attendees. John Baumann, a motivational speaker from Florida who has Parkinson’s, did a great job of providing education, insight, tips and humor for embracing Pd. Many of our VIPds (Very Important People with Parkinson’s) also displayed their beautiful artwork to represent one avenue of doing what you love, despite the diagnosis. We were even treated to a great performance from the K-State Marching Band! Meadowlark Parkinson’s Program leaders and participants are very grateful to all who participated in Empowered LIVE! And/or the Speedy Pd Race! A cash total of over $61,000 was raised to help provide FREE education, outreach, scholarship and exercise to those affected by Parkinson’s living in the Flint Hills Region. Additionally, the event received gift-in-kind support totaling $27,105 in value. We sincerely thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019!