Drive Toward a Cure’s 75 Days of Summer Raises Funds for Parkinson’s Research
National non-profit Foundation Drive Toward a Cure successfully concluded its second year of seasonal fundraising through its annual 75 Days of Summer program. More than $25,000 was raised by sponsor support and entrants nationwide participating in their own individual driving experiences, and with their own fundraising pages, while boosting awareness for Parkinson’s Disease. More than 50,000 collective miles were driven throughout the country and recorded by registrants and media who tracked their mileage during the program, which ran from the first day of Summer to Labor Day.
According to Deb Pollack, founder of Drive Toward a Cure, the national fundraising effort originally began when the COVID-19 situation required limitations during 2020 for group drives and events, yet her Foundation encouraged individuals to still get out and drive. “We offered the program as a social media fundraising campaign, and after much success last year, and ongoing pandemic precautions through 2021, people were even more inspired to participate, compete and spread awareness for an often-overlooked challenge.”
Throughout the summer, sponsored prizes were awarded during weekly random drawings for active entrants. Grand Prizes within the categories of ‘most miles driven,’ ‘most money raised,’ ‘social media creativity,’ and a special media prize for ‘creativity in fundraising’ will be awarded this week noting that each winner demonstrated outstanding effort within each group, while making every mile count.
- Most Miles Driven
- GRAND PRIZE – Jeffrey Ehoodin of Brooklyn, NY, will be receiving a certificate for a set of Michelin tires (valued at up to $2,000) resulting from his cross-country trek to honor his late father and driving 9,473 miles in a 2014 Toyota Tacoma truck. During his nearly 8-week venture, Jeff documented his drives ranging from urban to scenic National Park settings and communing with nature, including the endangered wolves he was seeking to find. Jeff covered 30 states during his entire journey, and he shared his adventures during a ‘Taco Tuesday’ stop at the Hagerty Garage in Littleton, CO, as well as during weekly on-air live conversations on Drivetime Radio with New York Vinnie.
- RUNNER-UP – Larry Edsall of Henderson, NV, enjoyed sharing the road with his 11-year-old granddaughter to secure the second-place prize, driving a total of 6,139 miles. Earning a $250 gift card from Hagerty DriveShare, he just may choose to borrow a classic or exotic ride to re-visit some of the impressive destinations he chose along the way – car enthusiasts dream stops like the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky and the Gilmore Car Museum in Michigan, eventually making his way to Pebble Beach for Monterey Car Week. In between they crossed the Continental Divide no less than three times, with additional stops at the infamous ‘Field of Dreams’ in Iowa and the Cadillac Ranch in Texas.
- Most Money Raised
- With nearly 20 percent of all 2021 participant fundraising achieved by John Ehle of Wilmette, IL, his contribution of $4,101 may not have reached his own $5K goal, but it was more than enough to earn him a One Day Driving School at BMW Performance Driving School West in Thermal, CA. John entered a total of four cars as ‘drivers’ during the summer-long event, including his 1967 Corvette Convertible, 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV, 1974 Ferrari 308 GT4, and a 2007 Lotus Elise.
- Social Media Creativity
- Dennis Jimenez of Spring Valley, NY, enjoys driving his own 2005 Porsche 911 so much that he shared the fun with local enthusiasts enlisting them in numerous ‘Sprint’ drives nearly every week over the summer. Not only did he engage drivers in both day and evening spirited drives, but he also encouraged participants to donate to his own fundraising page and to garner social media attention through every event. His efforts earned him a pair of luxury racing lifestyle shoes from Grand Prix Originals USA and a choice of their Rexton or Replica racing jacket – his prize total is valued at $400.
- Creativity in Fundraising
- This year for the first time, Maserati supported media involvement within the 75 Days program and will be providing our winner, Brenda Priddy of Goodyear, AZ with a weekend stay at her choice of either the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, CA, or a weekend at the Four Seasons Resort in Napa Valley – complete with the use of an all-new Maserati Levante Trofeo SUV during her stay. Professional automotive spy photographer and journalist, Brenda surpassed her own goal, raising $1,000 creatively by offering ‘thank you’ gifts to donors contributing to her personal fundraising page. Her offerings included prints and postcards of her own photography, as well as autographed automotive memorabilia she’s collected over the years and all outreach was shared through her personal social media channels.
- Drive Toward a Cure events harness enthusiasm for cars and driving and turn that power into support for ongoing work to improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s, as well as the research that will hopefully one day lead to a cure. Since 2016, Drive Toward a Cure has raised more than a half million dollars to support BOTH research AND patient care.