The first “Serve an Ace for Parkinson’s” event last Saturday at Five Seasons Sports Club in northern Cincinnati delivered almost everything it promised: camaraderie, lots of tennis, excellent food, enticing raffle prizes and even a few aces. The only thing missing (though not really missed) was the Australian Open tennis championship on the telly, which was bumped by popular demand in favor of the University of Cincinnati basketball game, which the Bearcats won.
As an added bonus, the event netted $2,500 for neurosurgery research at the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders at the UC Neuroscience Institute, one of four institutes of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health. Those funds will be used to support the purchase of computer hardware and software that will be used in research aimed at improving the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation surgery for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
“This was an enjoyable first-time event and the first tennis event in the history of UCNI,” noted George Mandybur, MD, Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery at UC. “It was a great opportunity for members and friends of the Gardner Center to engage in team-building, nurture friendships, and raise money at the same time.”
The event, which drew 65 guests, built on the Gardner Center’s theme – “Move to Live, Live to Move” – by celebrating fitness and exercise as vehicles for maintaining optimal health. Research has shown that exercise improves motor symptoms, flexibility, strength, balance, gait, health-related quality of life and overall function in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Co-hosting the event with Dr. Mandybur was Fredy J. Revilla, MD, Director of the Gardner Center and the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center Chair. Drs. Revilla and Mandybur wish to thank the following individuals for helping make the event possible:
- Brian Schubert, USPTA, Director of Junior Tennis at Five Seasons Sports Club, who oversaw the tennis portion of the event after already putting in a 10-hour day on the courts, and Tennis Professional Matt Kriener, USPTA
- Grand Slam patrons Mary & Gus McPhie and Jeanie & Andre Affatato
- Round-Robin patrons Mark Donley, Vinnie Fuggetta, and Cindy & John Cox
- Volunteers Kelly Lyle, Darlene Woosley, Cindy & Bill Starr, Sebastian Revilla and Ian Mandybur
- Patrick Shumrick, MHS, DPT, owner of the Center for Balance Physical Therapy, and vintner Tim Shumrick, of Tobin James, who donated a wine-tasting
- In-kind donors Kroger, Outback Steakhouse and Eastern Hills Indoor Tennis Club
The tennis event was organized as a non-competitive round-robin, divided into four brackets: Koalas, Kangaroos, Crocodiles and Kookaburras.
Most players mixed around, but one court in the Koalas bracket got its competitive traction and was soon serving up real aces for Parkinson’s. Ed Knapp, left, offered a sportsman’s smile after watching one of them — a big spin serve by John Khoury — whiz by out of reach.
Looking ahead at the Parkinson’s event schedule for friends, supporters and members of the Gardner Center team:
• Feb. 9, 2013: Pedal for Parkinson’s
• July 19, 2013: Putting for Parkinson’s
• Aug. 4-5, 2013: Jerry Wuest-Pete Hershberger dinner and golf outing
• Sept. 8, 2013: Sunflower Revolution Fitness Festival