Team Fox members worldwide are turning their passions into successful fundraising events — from hosting pancake breakfasts to organizing golf tournaments and much, much more. In this ongoing series, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) asks our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) community about their experiences fundraising and creating events with Team Fox.
David Abramson created his first Team Fox fundraiser last year — a cornhole tournament — and impressively raised almost $15K for Parkinson’s disease (PD) research! Read more about David’s inspiration for joining Team Fox and the impact joining has had on him below.
MJFF: How did you get involved with Team Fox/MJFF?
David: When I was diagnosed three and a half years ago in my early 50s, I knew I wanted to get involved in raising awareness and funds for PD, but I wasn’t sure where to start. After a lot of consideration, I decided to start my own 501(c)(3) non-profit (little did I know there were a bunch of steps, paperwork, time, energy, money and a long waiting process before the approval). As I waited, I began to look into different PD organizations and immediately gravitated to Team Fox/MJFF. I loved Michael, his story and what he has done for the PD community over the past 20+ years. I immediately knew Team Fox was for me and I was going to make it my mission to start my journey into fundraising to give back to Team Fox.
MJFF: How did the Live Harder Cornhole Tournament begin? What was the inspiration behind the event?
David: As I searched through different fundraising ideas, I came across a local cornhole organization that was experienced in running local non-profit events (and had done many PD events in the past). I wanted to do something fun, outside and family oriented, all while keeping the back-end expenses reasonable. My friends and I all enjoy the local Maryland wineries, so I wanted to incorporate the wineries into my fundraiser and the idea stuck. Our first cornhole event was at a local winery and turned out to be a great family fun day. This year will be our 2nd annual Live Harder Cornhole Fundraiser on Sunday, June 11 (at a different Maryland winery) and we are expecting another great turnout and hope to raise even more funds than last year!
MJFF: Why did you name your foundation Live Harder?
David: When I was diagnosed, my friends and family asked me “What now?” and the same thing always popped into my head — “I am going to Live Harder”! To me, the words “Live Harder” mean living life to the fullest, taking that extra step and not letting life stand still. I want to do all the things that I enjoy in my life and do them now, knowing that this progressive disease will not wait for me.
MJFF: Why is fundraising for research important to you?
David: To be honest, until I heard the words, “you have Parkinson’s”, fundraising and donating were not something I did much or even thought about. When you or someone you know becomes diagnosed with any disease, it wakes you up and makes you rethink your life and what you can do to help others. In the past three and a half years, I have not only done my own fundraising but have also jumped onto several other fundraisers and donated to many other causes. I know that the more funds we can all raise, the more research can be done and the quicker we will find a cure for this progressive disease (hopefully in my lifetime)!
MJFF: What is one piece of advice you would give other first-time Team Fox fundraisers?
David: The one piece of advice I would give to other first-time Team Fox fundraisers is to start now (do not wait)! It takes a village and the more funds we can all raise now for research the quicker we will find a cure. #letscurepd
Click here to learn more about the Live Harder Foundation.
Ready to get started with your own fundraiser? Create your 2023 Team Fox fundraiser today!