A free concert is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at Highway Tabernacle Church, 3000 Raccoon Road, Austintown, featuring pop rock legend Frankie Valens along with nationally-known recording artist Russ Nottingham, the Men in Black Quartet and Debbie Dorman. The event will help bring awareness of Parkinson's disease.
The person who worked hard to bring the event together is Ron Moore Jr., president of the Ohio Parkinson's Association. Moore knows a lot about the disease from a personal level.
"I was diagnosed in February, 2004 at the age of 34," he said. "Some of the symptoms include but are not limited to: tremor, rigidity, dyskinesia, memory loss, slurred speech, dragging leg, arms quit swinging, depression, constipation, hypotention (low blood pressure), stiffness and loss of facial expression."
Photo special to the Town Crier
Frank and Phyllis Valens will be the special guest performers at a free concert this Saturday at Highway Tabernacle Church to bring awareness about Parkinson’s disease. Also joining Frankie Valens will be national recording artist Russ Nottingham, the Men in Black Quartet and Debbie Dorman.
Moore said there are an estimated 1.5 million people in America who have the disease. He said worldwide it is as high as 10 million. Suffering from the disease and realizing the large numbers, Moore devoted himself to raising awareness and working towards a permanent cure. For eight years, he ran Midwest Parkinson's Association in Alliance and in 2005 he became president of the Ohio Parkinson's Association in Austintown.
"I recently formed the Austintown organization," he said. "We do a wide range of things. We work hard at spreading awareness and educating people about Parkinson's disease. We raise funds to fund research as well as patient advocacy services. Our goal is to be out of business (which means we've found a cure)."
Saturday's concert was just another step at meeting those goals for Moore. The concert actually took root in 2012 and through a Facebook friendship, and features a big lineup of guest performers.
"Frankie Valens and I have become good friends in the summer of 2012 on Facebook," Moore said. "As soon as I mentioned I wanted to organize a concert to benefit Parkinson's disease, Frankie was quick and eager to offer his services."
A freewill offering will be taken during the concert with 100 percent of the money raised going to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research.
The evening concert won't be this weekend's only free event at the church. This Saturday morning at 9 a.m., Moore is having an educational symposium. Doctors from Ohio State University Medical Center will speak about deep brain stimulation and the latest in Parkinson's disease treatments. World-renowned motivational speaker and author Richard London will also speak and other speakers will address physical/occupational therapy and will give a special presentation addressing caregiver issues. This, like the concert, is free and open to the public. It will also include a free continental breakfast as well as lunch. The morning event will be held at Highway Tabernacle Church's Family Life Center.