Spring Tulip Celebration
This year’s April Tulip Celebration, held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westborough, Massachusetts, was a joyful event. Members of the APDA Parkinson community came together to recognize the wonderful work being done every day in Massachusetts. This year’s program, co-chaired by Board members Denyse Turpin and Kristin Stapleton, provided a glimpse of what individuals can accomplish together. Donna Diaz welcomed all attendees and provided an inspirational message on the importance of volunteerism. Lindsay McGrath, Chaplain and founder of the Spirited Movement Foundation, shared a blessing for the community. Other highlights of the afternoon included announcing APDA’s volunteers of the year, recognition of our fundraising chairpersons, and the awarding of five scholarships.
Three volunteers were chosen to be recognized for their exemplary contributions to the Parkinson’s community. It is with extreme gratitude that their friendship and dedicated services to the Parkinson community were recognized.
Ruth Allis has served as the facilitator of the Pioneer Valley Parkinson’s Disease Support Group for the past twenty years. She has been a devoted volunteer to the Parkinson community since 1992, when a close friend was struggling with Parkinson’s disease. Noticing the lack of support services in her region, Ruth promptly took action, becoming an active leader of not one, but as many as three support groups. Ruth spends many hours identifying resources and services that help the members of her group.
Paul McMahon has organized a Cape Cod golf tournament in memory of his dad for the past ten years, raising a total of over $50,000 for the APDA Massachusetts Chapter. After his father’s death, Paul continued to hold the tournament with help from his family and friends. Last fall was his last year organizing the golf tournament, but his dedicated committee will keep the tradition going.
Kevin Maguire has been a good friend to the Massachusetts Chapter for the past twelve years. After a decade as the Chapter’s treasurer, he continues to support the APDA at the annual Walkathon with his family. Kevin also served on the Putt for Parkinson’s Golf Tournament board for many years.
The Chapter fundraising chairpersons were also recognized. This year, Lars Johnson, Bob Tullis, Bruins player Shawn Thornton, the Worcester firefighters, and Sean Danehy produced community events that provided much needed financial support for the APDA in Massachusetts.
For the first time, the Board developed a scholarship program to award Massachusetts high school seniors whose lives have been impacted by Parkinson’s disease. Many wonderful applications were received and the scholarship committee had a difficult time selecting winners. Five students were chosen based on their essay sharing their personal experience with Parkinson’s disease and their volunteer efforts within the community. This year’s winners were Maddison Benson, Juliana Farina, Michael Gobiel, Max Hall, and Daniel Shore. Each student plans to pursue higher education after graduating high school.
Of course, no good time would be without music, great conversation, delicious food, and, for some, a chance to sneak a dance. A raffle added excitement and raised some funds for the many programs sponsored by APDA throughout the year. Special thanks to our gift basket donors and to the Loeser family for their special donation.
Hope to see you next year!
A special thanks to all our sponsors:
Boston Medical Center
- Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital
- Dopa Putt for Parkinson’s Golf Tournament
- Janet Brown
- Lim Yoga
- The McAuliffe Family
- Millbury Health Center
- New England Rehabilitation Hospital
- Ride-Away Handicap Equipment Corporation
- Teva Neuroscience
- The Slabin & Creem Families
- Dr. David B. Sommer, Reliant Healthcare
- The Spirited Movement Foundation
- The Witham Family
Gail Achin joins scholarship winner Maddison Benson and her mom.
Bob Tullis, MA Chapter Vice-President and founder of Dopa Golf Tournament
Dr. Terry Ellis, Director of the APDA National Resource Center for Rehabilitation at BU Sargent College, keeps everyone moving.
Connecticut's Donna Diaz providing inspirational remarks.
Denyse Turpin, MA Chapter Board Member and event co-planner, and her husband Mike.
APDA Massachusetts Chapter President Volodymyr Lyczmanenko and his wife, Olga
Mike Achin, of Team dominAchin, joins in the fun.
Millbury Health Center Parkinson program staff
Lil Olsen accepts the volunteer award for Ruth Allis.
Allyson Gormley, Vanessa Blais, and Bob Tullis welcome guests.
Bill Stapleton, Cathi Thomas, and MA Chapter Board member and event co-planner Kris Stapleton
Dr. Marie Saint-Hilaire and Keith Ciccone
Cathi Thomas, Dr. David Sommer, and Volodymyr Lyczmanenko
APDA Board member Kim Creem and husband Gary
Everyone had fun out on the dance floor.
Jody Loeser and MA Chapter Board members Kris Stapleton and David Loeser