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.
Joining Team Fox in 2016, Vikas Mohindra quickly became a staple for the Team Fox Young Professionals (YPs) of NYC. In the last seven years, Vikas has helped lead the YPs of NYC who have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars (and counting) for Parkinson’s disease (PD) research, in honor of his father who lives with PD. Read more about Vikas’ inspiration for joining Team Fox and the impact joining has had on him below.
MJFF: How/when did you get involved with Team Fox/MJFF? Tell us a little bit about your involvement now.
Vikas: After planning to attend many Team Fox YP new member meetings, I attended one in 2016 ― about four years after my dad’s diagnosis. I still remember going to that first meeting. I was so anxious because I did not want anyone to ask me why I was there; I wasn’t ready to talk about my family’s PD journey. Once everyone went around the room introducing themselves and sharing their PD connections, I did not feel alone anymore. The room was full of others just like me, and for the first time in four years I was able to tell people, ‘my father has Parkinson’s disease’. Fast forward to today, I am honored to sit on MJFF's Leadership Council and serve as Co-Chair Emeritus for the Young Professionals of NYC. I guess you can say I love Team Fox ☺.
MJFF: You took on a leadership role with the Team Fox Young Professionals of NYC for many years ― what was the highlight of your time leading and working with the YPs of NYC?
Vikas: My highlight from a support standpoint was the community we built. I started a group chat called the Foxy Fam, which still exists, and we use it as our own support system (similar to MJFF’s Buddy Network Program). From a fundraising standpoint, my highlight is the growth of our lead fundraising event, the Foxy Gala. We went from an event that had about 200 guests to now a sellout crowd of about 400. I am so proud that not only have we been selling out, but we have become one of the Top 10 Fundraisers for Team Fox, an accomplishment that would not have been possible without all the YPs.
MJFF: Why is fundraising for research important to you?
Vikas: My father, who has been a rock for our family, was forever changed by his PD diagnosis in 2012. It saddens me to see his current condition both mentally and physically. Over the years, I have also seen the impact on my mother who is his caregiver. It saddens me that my son will never get to see how his grandfather was before the diagnosis; he will only get to experience him in his current state. I do not want others to have to watch their loved one(s) with PD go through what my father and family have gone through in our collective journey with PD.
MJFF: What advice would you give someone looking to get involved, but unsure of where to start?
Vikas: I would recommend attending a community event by Team Fox members as you are guaranteed to be greeted with open arms and open hearts!
The Team Fox Young Professionals of NYC are hoping to cross the $1M fundraising mark through this year’s annual Foxy Gala. To learn more about the Team Fox Young Professionals of NYC or to buy tickets to the 2023 Foxy Gala on Saturday, April 29 at The Prince George Ballroom in NYC, click here.
Vikas and his father Surjit at his 80th birthday last year.
Vikas and his wife Andrea at the 2022 Foxy Gala.