Saturday at the Parker House is usually buzzing with activity. Geoff often goes to the gym and finishes up any gardening and yard work that needs to be done. I usually catch up on the mail, pay bills, drop off dry-cleaning, do grocery shopping, go to the meat market, check in on Mom and start cooking for the weekend and next week.
Do you ever wake up on a Saturday morning with the best of intentions to follow your normal routine and end up not doing a thing? I mean not one thing on your list of “to do’s”! That pretty well sums up our Saturday at the Parker’s house today.
Geoff harvested the lime crop on our Dwarf Lime Tree today. Our little tree in it’s first year produced six of the most lucious limes that you have ever seen. Obviously, due to the size of our crop, this activity did not require too much energy from Mr. Parker! 🙂 You may recall, my lime tree was a gift from Geoff earlier this spring. I had wanted one for a very long time and I have to tell you, when he walked in with six limes in his hands, I was happier than if he had brought me a bushel basket of limes from the market!
I spent the morning and most of the afternoon contacting Massachusetts newspapers and different media outlets about our October climb of Mt. Greylock for the Fox Foundation. We would love to get the folks in Adams, MA. and the surrounding areas near Mt. Greylock involved in our climb so we need to lay the ground work now.
It is exciting to write letters about our upcoming climb. Today I felt that the the content of our press release was a little more credible since The Parker Family has one very large mountain under our belt! To be able to say “The Parker’s reached the summit of Mt. Katahdin at 5,267 feet in August ” just has a good ring to it, don’t you think!
In the afternoon mail, I received a letter from the Fox Foundation with updates on current research projects and an overview of the 2010 Clinical Intervention Awards. The letter made me realize that I had not wasted my day at all! My dry-cleaning can wait, the grocery and the meat market will be there tomorrow. I spent the day focusing on Parker’s Climb and there is nothing more important! It was really a very productive day after all!
From the letter:
When Michael J. Fox began building the Fox Foundation his goal was to create a Parkinson’s research organization with such urgency that it would exists solely to go out of business.
Research Funding has now passed $200 Million! The MJFF has created an entity to accelerate Parkinson’s research and build the kind of momentum across multiple fronts that will inevitably lead to life-transforming treatments and a cure. The Foundation has pursued a strategy that has focused on prioritizing and narrowing the list of “unknowns” that clog the PD research pipeline. From it’s onset and still today, MJFF does not shy away from “high-risk” research if they believe the potential reward justifies it. The foundation does however insist on collaboration, transparency and accountability which is strongly guided by an in-house research staff.
From the beginning, The Foundation has paid special attention to moving promising treatments from the laboratory to human clinical trials. Human trials are expensive to plan, execute and evaluate and where risk is a given, human clinical trials have exceptionally high risk/reward rations that give investors of all types pause.
Today, funding avenues have become far less available due to the economic crisis and this lack of funding has significantly slowed innovation. For this reason, the foundation makes it a top priority to identify the most promising candidate treatments ready to enter the clinic, and they provide the funding that will make the difference between a promising treatment entering a trial or coming to a halt.
The Clinical Intervention Awards (CIA), was created specifically for research at this stage. CIA is part of the Foundation’s Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research to ensure that no promising treatment stalls in its forward progress. Each year MJFF commits to raising a minimum of $3 million for programs under CIA. Since 2008, over $9 million has been committed to 12 potentially high-impact trials. In total, the MJFF has supported nearly $28 million to 35 trials. (Read about the generous Edmond and Lilly Safra Donations on our post dated July 27, 2010).
More information is available online about this year’s CIA Research Awards. You may see these at: www.michaeljfox.org/momentum
The Fox Foundation needs to raise $2.5 million dollars before December 31, 2010 to support aggressive research funding agendas. Each year some research commitments, like the CIA awards are pledged even before the Foundation has raised them due to their importance level.
The Fox Foundation has asked for our help – It is now up to us to raise the bar – to drive donations in order to ensure that critical research can continue. I would remind you that many corporations, despite cutbacks in corporate giving since the beginning of the recession, continue their practice of matching the charitable donations on a 1:1 basis of their employees. If this is an employee benefit in your company, I encourage you to take advantage of this key employee reward!
So, a productive day after all at the Parker House! We have much work to be done with Parker’s Climb and there is a new reason to drive donations! Tomorrow is another day and we will get it all done, right? What ever donation you can make is important, whether it is $1.00, $10.00 or $100.00. I look at this a little like the Parker’s Lime Harvest today! My six little limes meant the world to me – your donation will mean the world to many!!
You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.