Marg Meikle, Mac MacDonald and Noel MacDonald
photo courtesy of Dan Heringa
VANCOUVER'S 12th ANNUAL PORRIDGE PARTY IS
November 17, 2013 at
3461 W. 3rd Ave
8:30am - Noon
If you cannot join us in person, please consider joining us for a virtual bowl of porridge with an on-line donation (and an instant tax receipt) on-line donation and send Marg a message to email@example.com
Presentation of $307, 500 from the Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute to UBC at the 2011 Porridge for Parkinson's Breakfast
From left to right: Dr. Silke Cresswell, PPRI Professorship-holder; Dr. Jon Stoessl, Director, Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, UBC; and Dale Parker, Chair, Board of Trustees, Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute.
Dear Porridge Lovers: May, 2012
At our 2011 Breakfast we served 275 bowls of porridge and raised $70,728 and with our matching donors the total for our 2011 event was $205,728 in support of the Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute Professorship at UBC. This also includes many on-line donations and all the coins which Mac collected. Our thanks to everyone who supports Porridge for Parkinson's.
This money continues to support the work of Dr. Silke Cresswell, the neurologist who holds the "Porridge Professorship" at the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre at UBC, and brings us closer to finding a cure.
Yours in porridge,
Marg, Noel, and Mac
Noel & Marg
Our 2011 Porridge for Parkinson's Visionary Donors:
- Christopher Foundation
- Deux Mille Foundation
- Lohn Foundation
- London Drugs Foundation
- Jeff McCord
- JET Equipment & Tools (Canada) Foundation
- Andrew Mahon Foundation
- Meikle/MacDonald Family
- John Norton
- Dale and Joan Parker
- R. Howard Webster Foundation
- and other anonymous donors
is Porridge for Parkinson's?
Porridge for Parkinson's is the world's simplest fundraiser. We started the idea in our home with our friends and relatives in November 2001, and we just had the 8th annual PfP at our home in Vancouver.
Porridge for Parkinson's is not a pyramid scheme.
It's more of a food chain or a bowl movement!
We're delighted that the bowl movement has gone international, although we have learned the hard way that many Americans aren't completely sure what porridge is..."something from nursery rhymes" we've been told. "Oatmeal for Parkinson's" simply doesn't scan. We'll have to convert the masses, one bowl at a time.
Porridge confusion aside, over the past two years we know of 21 porridge parties that have been held in Canada and the United States, and together have raised over one half a million dollars for Parkinson's research and Parkinson's societies. If you decide to make use of this idea (take it, it's our gift to you), we'd love to hear about it. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you are planning to hold a breakfast, or how it went if you held one (we'll just lump you into the general tally).
We've put together this website to show how you can hold an inexpensive, delicious, simple, and profitable event. The website will be a scrapbook of past parties, tips for putting on a party, and a running tally of funds raised for Parkinson's research.
Whether you serve 5, 10, 30 or 300, or you know two friends who might serve 10 each, we think this is an ideal cheap and fun way to raise money to find a cure.
P.S. Bill Richardson, Mac's godfather, wrote this article (149k PDF file) about our efforts for the June 2002 issue of Canadian Living Magazine. And John Lee wrote about the spread of the bowl movement in the November 1, 2002 National Post.
Why Porridge and Why Now
We want to help find a cure for this nasty progressive disease, and so we are raising funds to go directly to research. Marg was diagnosed in June 1999 when our son, Mac, was 18 months old. (Marg was 43.) The rapidity of the progression has been scary and being proactive feels right.
We admire the huge number of fundraisers that the various Parkinson's organizations hold, but we wanted to do something that worked with Marg's medication "on" times and worked for our family. Noel came up with "Porridge for Parkinson's." It's a variation on a breakfast benefit our friends Carol Denny and David Jiles have held for 19 years for First United Church in Vancouver . It is always such a friendly, simple party, and we thought it would be an ideal fundraiser for our cause. (David originally came up with the idea because he loved the porridge at the Stock Market at Granville Island in Vancouver so much.)
Porridge for Parkinson's is a "we can't just sit around waiting for something to happen with this disease" grassroots event. Parkinson's disease sucks - so let's help get rid of it. Researchers have a better understanding of PD and are close to a cure. The fact that the science is ahead of the money encourages us to get cooking.
Our first breakfast turned into a huge deal with close to 200 people, but we firmly believe that whether you serve 10, 30 or 300 guests, you will have done something significant towards increasing awareness, and you definitely will have had some fun.
And did we mention it is cheap? The costs are remarkably low for the return. Our total cost that first year was about $200, including cards, envelopes and postage for a huge mailing, masses of superb porridge and dense and delicious Dried Fruit Poached in Port compote. We could have done it for much much less (in a subsequent year we used www.evite.com for our invitations but now we're back to printed invites--citing the fact that folks love to stick something on their fridge). Our favourite statistic is that the steel cut oats cost $10.81 to serve 200 people.
Our party continues to be large--we sent out about 450 invitations in 2006, many to regulars who salivate at the mere mention of porridge. Our expenses were about $1000.00 and we brought in $50,000.00. (And because of the SNOW that day, we had a lot smaller turn-out but many people sent in donations. Good thing the kids had a snowball fight that day cause that was more or less it for that year!)
The Bottom Line: We raise a lot of money in a morning for the Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute, which funds the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre (formerly known as the Movement Disorder Clinic at the University of British Columbia ). Their work is well known worldwide.
So, if you have Parkinson's Disease or know someone who does, or just feel like putting on a fun, inexpensive and profitable event for this cause, go for it. You're guaranteed to get lots of kudos for these great recipes, it is pretty minimal impact entertaining, and you will have remarkable results both financially and for raising public awareness. Our guests were eager to learn something about this rather bizarre brain disorder and keen to contribute something. It all adds up.