On July 22, The Parkinson's Foundation announced over $2.2 million in community grants for Parkinson's programs across the country, including $10,500 for the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA's Singercise program. Singercise is a therapeutic singing program for Parkinson's patients and is held virtually and in-person at the Lewisburg YMCA at the Miller Center.
Thanks to this grant, Singercise is offered at no cost for participants.
“We are pleased to be able to provide these community grants and to expand programs and resources throughout the Parkinson’s community,” said John L. Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation president and chief executive officer. “Every one of these grant recipients shares our commitment to making life better for people with Parkinson’s disease.”
The Parkinson's Foundation distributed grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per community grant application. The grants were focused on three areas: programs that provide services for diverse and underserved populations; initiatives for the newly diagnosed; and programs addressing mental health and Parkinson's. $1.6 million of the $2.2 million total was allocated to diverse and underserved populations.
Bonnie McDowell, CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA, explained that the grant is being used to directly fund the Singercise program: “This generous grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation will fund a singing and music therapy program that has already had positive results for previous participants. The best part is this community grant will remove cost barriers and allow us to offer the program completely free of charge. We’re so thankful to the Parkinson’s Foundation for supporting Singercise here at the YMCA.”
Programs funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation community grants also include wellness, dance, music therapy and educational programs that help people with Parkinson’s live better with the disease. These programs will benefit communities in 40 states across the country.
Parkinson's Disease affects an estimated one million Americans and 10 million people worldwide. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and the 14th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Symptoms include a progressive loss of motor control (such as shaking or tremors and a lack of facial expression), and non-motor symptoms include depression and anxiety. There is no cure at this time, but The Parkinson's Foundation is working to change that while improving the quality of life for patients in the meantime.