30Nov

Thirsty for a Cure and Giving Back

If you've attended a Michael J Fox Foundation or Team Fox event recently, you may have sipped from a specially branded water bottle asking, "Thirsty for a cure?" Besides being a fun takeaway for MJFF guests, these branded bottles also represent the dedication of entrepreneurs and Foundation supporters Ken and Monica Churchill.

Ken and Monica head up Private Spring Water, based in California, and 3 Springs, based in Pennsylvania; both companies are suppliers of premium quality and custom labeled bottled water. The Churchills feel strongly about the importance of giving back to the community, and for Ken and his family-run business, advancing Parkinson's research is a particularly critical cause.

Ken's brother, Mark, has lived with Parkinson's for many years. Ken was moved by seeing how Mark and his wife have navigated the diagnosis and the years following. So when Ken received an email mentioning MJFF, he "didn't even have to think" before reaching out and offering to help.

Private Spring Water and 3 Springs donated more than 6,300 branded bottles this year to keep golfers, runners, volunteers and supporters hydrated at MJFF special events and Team Fox fundraisers across North America. They've played a starring role at events ranging from a Team Fox Young Professional polo match to the annual Delaware Pancakes for Parkinson's and various Tour de Fox celebrations all summer long. The bottles include information about MJFF's mission with two designs: One promotes the science at the core of MJFF's work and the second sports a photo of Michael himself cheering on Team Fox members.

And when the bottles were first produced, Mark was thrilled when his own case of MJFF bottles arrived at his door.

The Churchill family's commitment to speeding cutting-edge Parkinson's research goes beyond the donation. Ken and Monica's son Austin is on full academic scholarship at University of Southern California, earning a dual Bachelor's of Science degree in Neuroscience and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. He also works as a research assistant in a lab that is investigating how endogenous neural stem cells adapt and repair the adult brain, with the long-term goal of seeing if these stem cells can function as a therapeutic source of neural regeneration.

Look for the MJFF branded bottles at an upcoming Team Fox Turkey Trot in Virginia and the Foundation's signature NYC gala A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's.

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