Drive Toward A Cure Hits Million Dollar Milestone Supporting Parkinson’s Disease Research

Drive Toward A Cure Hits $ Million Milestone Supporting Parkinson’s Disease Research

TGR Staff - 07/30/2022

With more than $1 million raised in donations for Parkinson’s Disease since Drive Toward a Cure® established its roots in 2016, the non-profit foundation has benefitted from “the village” it takes to grow awareness and seed fundraising success – and so far this summer, much success has been achieved through cross-country treks, car club drives nationwide and even a global shout-out for the foundation atop Japan’s famed Mount Fuji.

According to Deb Pollack, founder of Drive Toward a Cure, while primary involvement throughout the automotive enthusiast and professional car communities has included support from manufacturers, clubs, and organizations, it’s the individuals that have made the most significant contributions in providing recognition for this challenging disease on a worldwide level.

Drive Toward A Cure Hits $ Million Milestone Supporting Parkinson’s Disease Research

“There’s a wonderful ‘why’ behind the challenges that our donors take on as they empathetically remind us that those challenged by Parkinson’s Disease on a daily basis have more difficulties than the average individual,” said Pollack. “This summer we had an adventurous 63-year-old grandmother ride her Harley-Davidson more than 8,600 miles across North America. Her 34-day trek began as a whim to eat lobster in Maine, but she ended up raising more than $15,000 along the way, while honoring her best friend in Illinois who revealed her own challenges having been recently diagnosed with the disease.”

Not only did Idaho-native Joni Pursell gain national attention with her ‘YRUW8NG’ (read ‘Why Are You Waiting”) cross-country motorcycle ride by participating in magazine, podcast, and radio interviews – but the majority of the funds she raised are going back to her local community in support of both a Parkinson’s clinic in Boise and the Treasure Valley YMCA Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson’s Disease.  She joined with Drive Toward a Cure to further benefit those that need patient care, one of the Foundation’s cornerstones giving commitments.

Drive Toward A Cure Hits $ Million Milestone Supporting Parkinson’s Disease Research

Separately, John and Wendy Cacioppo took advantage of getting to know their current residence in Japan by hiking to the top of Mount Fuji and bringing global acclaim to Drive Toward a Cure by presenting a flag at its peak. Additionally after reaching the summit of the highest mountain in Japan, the Cacioppo’s chose to keep their adventure current with the creation of an ongoing fundraising page for Parkinson’s – which can be found at

Drive Toward a Cure has been successfully growing its own following throughout the country, with car clubs and groups that take on one-day programs to benefit the cause. These funds also remain in local areas and have been supporting various regional Centers of Excellence in the United States for the Parkinson’s Foundation, including those in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Houston, New York, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, San Diego, and San Francisco.  Facilities include world renowned Parkinson’s clinics at universities including Columbia, Baylor, Emory, UC San Francisco, Vanderbilt, and Duke.

Like the various car clubs across the nation creating their own one-day events on behalf of Drive Toward a Cure, the Porsche Club of America Peachstate Region in Atlanta recently contributed to funds raised for the Emory Healthcare Parkinson’s Disease Comprehensive Care Clinic, with a $5,000 donation raised on a singular “Drive Toward a Cure Tour,” with members enjoying a scenic drive, followed by lunch at the Savoy Automotive Museum.  

Additional fundraising opportunities have included bar-b-ques, virtual programs and currently -- for the third year in a row -- Hagerty has fueled Drive Toward a Cure’s ’75 Days of Summer’ where individuals track the combination of their mileage and fundraising dollars to win prizes all summer long.

Drive Toward A Cure Hits $ Million Milestone Supporting Parkinson’s Disease Research

For 2022, between random weekly prize drawings and grand prizes which will be announced after Labor Day Weekend, more than $15,000 worth of prizes will be awarded from sponsors including Michelin, Hagerty, RSR Wheels, Grand Prix Original USA, BMW Performance Driving School, Skip Barber Racing School, Mothers Polish, Avants, Pennzoil, Taste of Motorsports, JBL/Harmann, Maserati USA and more.  While registration is a $20 tax deductible donation, entrants are encouraged to create their own fundraising pages throughout the summer – registration is ongoing and can be found at: .

Pollack noted that continued creative fundraising avenues for Drive Toward a Cure are scheduled through year-end, including acting as a global beneficiary to the upcoming Concours d’Elegance & Circuit later this Fall in Corfu, Greece.