BANGOR — After rolling out its annual fundraiser recently in Portland, the Maine Parkinson Society is ready to Strike Out Parkinson’s Disease with the popular state MEPS Bowl-a-Thon on Saturday, April 27, at the Sports Arena on Route 2.
Teams of four bowlers will take the lanes in the morning, 10 a.m.-noon, or later in the day, 1-4 p.m.
“Don’t bowl? Don’t have a team? You can still give,” said MEPS President Gary Cole of Bangor.
The March 23 bowl-a-thon at Spare Time Lanes in Portland was coordinated by Brian Allen, a mechanic at the bowling establishment. Now 28, Allen has lived with Parkinson’s for two years.
“Brian reflects the changing face of Parkinson’s disease,” Cole explained. “While the highest incidence of Parkinson’s disease is in those over 60 years old, there is an alarming number of cases under 50 being documented yearly.”
In Bangor, the bowl-a-thon will involve at least one person bowling from his wheelchair. Gaelen Saucier, who has taken up handicapped skiing, sled hockey and wheelchair basketball since becoming a paraplegic 10 years ago, signed up for the fund raiser at the Sports Arena after finding that ten-pin bowling was something he and his wife, Roxanne, could enjoy together.
The Sauciers, along with Roxanne’s sister and nephew, Maureen and Chris Taylor of Parkman, will bowl in memory of Glenna Atwood, a Hampden teacher who traveled the country with her husband Blaine to share with others what they had learned about living with Parkinson’s.
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.
The Maine Parkinson Society helps fund respite care for families, said Cole, 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.
Pledge sheets, registration forms, sponsorship opportunities and information are available on the MEPS website or by calling 262-9910, ext. 11. Contributions also may be sent to MEPS, c/o Morgan Knox, 359 Perry Road, Bangor 04401.
Information on the Maine Parkinson Society is available at www.maineparkinsonsociety.org. Teams may register at http://www.maineparkinsonsociety.org/events/bowl-a-thons/ or create a fundraising webpage at http://www.firstgiving.com/MaineParkinsonSociety.