May 27, 2018
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Parkinson group sets annual bowl-a-thon

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Parkinson Society is looking for outstanding bowlers, ordinary bowlers, occasional bowlers and once-a-year bowlers.

All are welcome to sign up for the group’s annual fundraiser, the MEPS Bowl-a-Thon, to be held on Saturday, April 28, at The Sports Arena on U.S. Route 2 in Hermon.

There is no registration fee, according to MEPS President Gary Cole of Bangor. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $50 a person or $200 per four-person team for the Maine Parkinson Society.

The fundraising minimum entitles each participant to admission, lane fees, shoe rental and an event T-shirt. Participants or teams may indicate their preferred time on event day: 9-11:30 a.m. or 1-3:30 p.m.

Nearly 6 million people worldwide — several thousand of them in Maine — have Parkinson’s disease, a chronic, progressive neurological disorder that may include tremors in hands, arms, legs, jaw and face or rigidity or stiffness of the limbs or trunk.

Other symptoms can include bradykinesis, or slowness of movement, and postural instability, which is impaired balance and coordination.

In people who have Parkinson’s, their dopamine-producing cells have begun to die and not enough dopamine is produced, resulting in slower messages being sent from the brain to parts of the body about how to move.

The Maine Parkinson Society helps fund respite care for families, gives educational information to the community and contributes to funding to find a cure for Parkinson’s, which is treated with medication and sometimes surgery.

The MEPS website at offers a link to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network special “Easing the Burden: Parkinson’s Disease,” which features Gary Cole, a Parkinson’s support group member in the midcoast area and comments by actor Michael J. Fox.

Team captains for the bowlathon are responsible for collecting, totaling and turning in pledge funds on event day, April 28.

Participants who raise more than $250 will be eligible for prizes, from gift cards to a top prize of four Patriots football tickets and a sweatshirt.

Pledge sheets, registration forms, sponsorship opportunities and information are available on the MEPS website or by calling 262-9910, ext. 11. Registration forms need to be submitted as soon as possible so that lanes may be reserved. Contributions also may be sent to MEPS, c/o Morgan Knox, 359 Perry Road, Bangor 04401.

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