Her employer, Bill Wilkins of Wilkins Media Co., had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease the previous year, “dramatically changing my life and direction,” he said.
Parkinson’s has no cure and nothing to slow its progression, only drugs to mask symptoms. After announcing the diagnosis to his employees, Wilkins said,
“I wanted to do what I could, while I could” to help others.
Hall, who was a very active player at Chukkar Farm in Alpharetta, suggested a charity event.
“We all liked the sound of Polo for Parkinson’s,” said Wilkins, who lives in Roswell.
That was the beginning of one of the most unique charitable pairings in the metro area, bringing the fast-paced and exciting game of polo together with educational information about Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
“Polo for Parkinson’s is a fun, family-oriented day in some of north Atlanta’s most beautiful horse country,” Hall said.
This year the event is Sept. 29.
“Chukkar Farm and Polo Club offers a unique bird’s eye view of the field, and the game announcer will explain the rules and keep attendees aware of what’s going on down on the field,” Hall said. “Attendees are also invited to talk with the polo players and ask questions about the game itself.”
Attendees are welcome to “come as you are” or step it up with apparel such as seersucker suits, sundresses and fancy hats.
The halftime Ladies’ Hat Contest always has entries ranging from themed hats, to homemade creations, to designer styles, “the more flamboyant the better,” Hall said.
There is also a traditional champagne divot stomp at halftime.
The silent auction has a number of once-in-a-lifetime experiences up for bid, like soaring over Napa Valley in a hot air balloon, becoming a fighter pilot for a day and jetting off to a choice of select Four Seasons resorts.
A raffle includes a Samsung Galaxy Phone, movie ticket packages, gift baskets and more.
This year, the popular fundraiser is teaming up with Emory University’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Program to promote understanding of Parkinson’s disease and to raise funds for research leading to a cure.
“Our brand-new Ask the Expert area will feature several of Emory University’s top neurologists who specialize in movement disorders like PD,” Hall said.
They will be available throughout the event to answer attendees’ questions about Parkinson’s disease, available treatments and about the groundbreaking research going on right here in Atlanta.
Included with the price of admission is a free lunch hosted by local favorite ‘Cue BBQ, plus an open bar for beer, wine and champagne.
Premium reserved tables of eight are available only in advance for $400, and individual tickets are $50 each, $5 for children.
Gates open at 1 p.m. and polo begins at 2 p.m. Chukkar Farm and Polo Club is at 1140 Liberty Grove Road, Alpharetta.
For information, go to www.poloforparkinsons. com or call (770) 730-5840.