Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Virtual Marathon Recap

finishes of the virtual marathon Detroit Kilter and Team23 KGF

Over the weekend of October 16-18th, thousands of runners participated in the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Virtual Marathon. While our first year as a charity partner for the event didn’t go quite as expected, we are proud to announce that our Team 23 runners raised over $6,000 in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease!

We are so proud of Debra Gleeson and Jamen Spitzer!


Debra Gleeson
Jamen Spitzer

Debra is a new runner and completed the Temptation challenge – a 5K + 1 Mile race and even beat her goal time. She had an original fundraising goal of $1,500 and raised over $2,000! She was supported in her run by her daughter Haley, and ran in honor of her husband Tim is who is battling Parkinson’s Disease.

Jamen is a Michigan native who now lives in Los Angeles. He ran his first ever full marathon – 26. 2 miles along the California coast. Jamen ran in support of his father Ben who is fighting Parkinson’s Disease. Jamen has been documenting his training and is working on a film that chronicles his journey as a runner and his relationship with his father. Jamen beat his original fundraising goal of $2,300 and raised over $3,000!

Team 23 also participated in the Detroit Marathon Charity Partner Challenge via the Kilter Rewards app. With 39 participants our team came in second place and raised an additional $700 dollars to fight Parkinson’s. Stay tuned for future challenges with Team 23 on Kilter Rewards – all you have to do to support the fight against Parkinson’s is lace up those sneakers and start moving!

We hope you’ll join us in 2021 for race weekend.

Detroit Free Press / TCF Bank Marathon Charity Partner Challenge

Detroit Free Press and TCF Bank Marathon Charity Partner Challenge infographic.

Since the Detroit Free Press / TCF Bank Marathon has gone virtual the marathon planning team has come up with some great unique ways to keep us all connected through everyone’s training! From September 21st through October 19th you can log all of your training miles via the Kilter Rewards app and earn points on their leaderboard to make the Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s the #1 team! The winning team gets a $1,000 grand prize donation.

We have a great team so far with some of our charity runners and their friends & families that are keeping up their activity in support as well! That’s right – you don’t have to be registered for the race to participate in this fun challenge. There are also individual prizes as well.

You can sign up and get more details here: https://www.kilterrewards.com/events/detroit-free-press-tcf-bank-marathon-charity-partner-challenge

This event is free to participate – make sure you choose the Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s when you join the Detroit Marathon challenge!

Virtual 2020 Kirk Gibson Golf Classic Recap

From August 14-17, more than 200 golfers across the U.S. and Canada played a round of golf to support the Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s in the first Virtual Kirk Gibson Golf Classic. Golfers tracked their scores through the 18 Birdies app, and Team Reynolds took first place coming in at 16-under. Team Gibson was tied for second at 11-under.

Over $135,000 was raised to go towards programs for Parkinson’s patients and research grants. Part of those funds came from our online auction which had some great items including a chance to Golf With Gibby, a tour of the New York Stock Exchange, an autographed Clayton Kershaw jersey, and more.

The golf weekend was wrapped up with a Zoom Q&A with Kirk Gibson, our Golf tournament winners, and a few of our participants that were chosen via random lottery. We had some great questions about life, baseball and MSU football.

While we look forward to gathering again in person in 2021, we have had a lot of interest in continuing our Virtual Kirk Gibson Golf Classic next year. If you’d like to be included in future notifications regarding the virtual and/or in-person events, please email us at golf@kirkgibsonfoundation.org.

We thank you for your continued support.

Kirk Gibson & The Kirk Gibson Golf Classic Planning Team

Update | Everybody VS Parkinson’s (EvsP) in Grand Rapids, MI

virtual big and loud support for Parkinson's
parkinson's support group in Grand Rapids Michigan at Spectrum Health

UPDATE | EVERYBODY VS PARKINSON’S (EVSP) IN GRAND RAPIDS, MI

The Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s is proud to support these weekly sessions at Spectrum Health. The EvsP groups have been meeting weekly since 2018, helping LSVT BIG and LOUD patients continue the gains they have made and helping to maintain accountability among participants. The camaraderie is very important for those who participate, as they support each other in this work.

Having a virtual option has been very well-received, and the participants have adjusted wonderfully to the technology. We are all enjoying being “together” again!

Spectrum Health wishes to express our deep appreciation for the Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s and all those who have generously supported this important program. Philanthropy has made these classes possible and in doing so, offered the Parkinson’s community the additional support of others who are walking this same journey. We are looking forward to being able to continue increasing the availability of these classes in the future.

Kerri Vryhof, MDiv., OTR
Occupational Therapist
Spectrum Health
Lea Norbotten, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Spectrum Health