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Michigan Parkinson Foundation

The Results are in
for the Alpena, August 2013
"I Gave My Sole For Parkinson's"
Walkathon & 5K Run

The first annual I Gave My Sole For Parkinson's Walkathon & 5K Run was held in Alpena on a sunny, clear Saturday, August 24, 2013. More than 100 people attended and raised over $6,500! Christopher Hippensteel won for overall all fund raising individual (Mark Beegle will have to have his hair cut into a mowhawk!); Team Gary! came in first for the fund raising team, and the Thumb Area Support Group located in Bad Axe raised the most money as a support group. This group held their own walk-a-thon to contribute!!!!

There is something to be said about smaller towns, as the planning group would say. The enthusiasm was great! Entertainment was superb - the music and singing provided by Music 4 You and BK Soundtrack were outstanding. John Meek, Bagpiper, led the enthusiastic crowd around the stadium track. Delicious aroma of hot dogs, etc. emanated from the Girl Scout Troop 2056 concession. Velena Jones, WBKB TV reporter emceed, with comments from Honorary Chair Matt Poli (Principal of Alpena High School), Chairperson Jeanette Beegle, Co-Chair Kathy Brown, and Pastor Jim Gulish. Home Depot brought building kits for the children, who also enjoyed having their faces painted. Local businesses donated silent auction gifts which also brought in funds to be used by the support group.

Participants of all ages attended. A special recognition needs to go to Judy and Norman Poli, who drove all night from their vacation in the south to make sure they were back for this event! Fourteen 5K Runners took off first. Three came from Cheboygan - a new Parkinson Support Group that started this past year. The route went through the adjacent neighborhoods and was challenging. Overall winners, Mike Wurstsmith (male: 23.09 minutes) and Tracy Bathgate (women: 26.17 minutes) each donated their $100 prizes back to the Michigan Parkinson Foundation!

The Alpena Support Group has been meeting since the early 1980's. It was started by two couples, one of whom was Georgene and Bud Anderson. Even though Bud has passed away, Georgene continues to attend the group and she was walking at the event. The group meets monthly on the 3rd Monday and has been drawing new participants.

The idea for the Walk-a-thon in Alpena comes from Mark Beegle, a member of the Alpena support group, who attended the first walkathon & 5K run held in Okemos 4 years ago. He was so enthused about the possibility of holding it in his own home town. Bolstered by his wife, Jeanette, and support group members, including Kathy Brown and husband Gary, who recently joined, Elle and Jerry Button, the Polis, Hippensteels, and Donna Precord, the walk took off like a shot! Kathy connected with Joe Gentry of the Dork Brothers for helpful hints, and involved her colleagues at First Federal of Northern Michigan in fund raising efforts. The volunteers who were family and friends of the group did a great job. We wonder how many miles Jeanette put on her car while she got others involved!

The Alpena Support Group hopes to hold another walk/run next year. We certainly did have fun!

5K Run Results:



We wish to acknowledge the following:

Thunder Bay Junior High School

Special thanks to Julie Splitt, Head Custodian

Honorary Chairperson

  • Matt Poli
  • Mark & Jeanette Beegle, Event Chairs
  • Kathy Brown, 5K Run Chair and Event Co-Chair
  • John, Sandy, Christopher & Nicholas Hippensteel
  • Ellie & Jerry Button
  • Judi Poli
  • Velena Jones, WBKB TV

Committee Members



We also wish to thank the Friend Sponsors of the "I Gave My Sole For Parkinson's" Walkathon & 5K Run.


We wish to thank all of you for helping to raise money for Michigan Parkinson Foundation programs and services. Special thanks goes to:

Top Individual Fundraisers:

  1. Christopher Hippensteel
  2. Al Sharp
  3. Elaine Spencer

Top Team Fundraisers:

  1. Gary!
  2. Believe in Miracles
  4. The Roly Poli's
  5. Fancy Feet

Support Groups - Top Fund Raisers:

  • Thumb Area Parkinson Support Group
  • Owosso Parkinson Support Group

Many people worked hard to make these events so special.  We would like to recognize the following:

Thanks to the many volunteers and a special thank you to the following supporters:


BK Sound Track
Breanna Burrone
Dork Brothers: Joe Gentry
Girl Scout Troup #2056
     Debra Milostan & Donna Precord, Scout Masters
George Snedden, Photographer
Home Depot
John Meek, Bag Piper
Music 4 You

In-kind contributions for the raffle and supplies:

Basket Case
Bay Athletic Club
Better Living Spa
Consolidated Fruit
First Federal of Northern Michigan
Just for Kids
McAnsch Life Energy Institute
Melissa Steiger
Muffler Man
Norway Resort
Perch's IGA
Senior Center
The Market Place



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