For Cameron Harris (age 17) and her sister Elisabeth (age 14), fundraising for Team Fox has been something of a family affair since the program’s inception in 2006. After years of helping with their Aunt Sue’s highly-anticipated Tips for Parkinson’s fundraiser—one of Team Fox’s largest annual events!—both Cameron and Elisabeth were determined to do more. As such, it didn’t take long before the sisters were settled into their 2013 school year and brainstorming ways to creatively fundraise in honor of their grandmother, who lives with Parkinson’s disease.
With a goal of engaging their friends, classmates and peers specifically, Cameron and Elisabeth enlisted the assistance of Uliana Bilash (age 17) who also has a grandparent affected by PD. “We are the next generation of advocates for [Parkinson’s], a cause that means a lot to us,” Cameron explains, “and we wanted to create a club that reaches out strictly to our fellow teens and younger peers.” And thus was founded the Millburn High School Teen Fox Club in Millburn, NJ.
After a few weeks of planning, the crew kicked off the club’s fundraising efforts at the end of October with their “Make a Change” campaign. With the help of a festively decorated table, a collection jug and some Team Fox swag, the girls set up shop outside of their school’s cafeteria and asked fellow students and faculty members to donate their loose change in support of Team Fox. In just a few weeks, the club raised more than $200.
“It was only our first fundraiser,” Uliana reflects, “but every penny makes a difference, and together, we will do what we can to help researchers find a cure for Parkinson’s.” In addition to the huge wave of support the club received, Cameron relayed that the real inspiration came from connecting with others who have also been personally touched by PD.
While the campaign is still in its early stages, the girls already have big plans to expand the club’s impact throughout the remainder of the school year. Through the addition of a variety of events such as Peddle for Parkinson’s—a proposed biking event—and a Pancakes for Parkinson’s breakfast, the girls are eager to find unique ways to continue engaging their school and community while raising both funds and awareness for Parkinson’s research.
Best of luck, Teen Fox—we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
Editor’s Note: Interested in starting a Teen Fox Club or hosting a fundraiser at your school? Check out our Team Fox Fall Series for suggestions on how to bring Team Fox back-to-school with you. Also, be sure to stay tuned for our soon-to-launch Holiday Hub with fundraising event ideas and suggestions just in time for the holiday season!