Dispatches from the Parkinson’s Institute ball

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[Above: All dandied up for the Parkinson’s Institute fundraiser in San Francisco, Rolf mugs for the camera with cousin Mary Hill, who serves as the education coordinator for Drive Around the World.]

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about my upcoming Drive Around the World expedition, but plans for the Land Rover journey are still going strong. Right now I’m lined up to write expedition dispatches for Slate in December, and I’m trying to arrange some print magazine exposure as well. I’ll also be posting expedition journals on this blog and on the Drive Around the World website once we get underway two weeks from now. Stay tuned.

For now I wanted to share a few photos from the Parkinson’s Institute fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco last weekend. As I mentioned in an earlier post, our global Land Rover trek is a benefit for Parkinson’s Disease research — and I’m proud to say that, with the help of some generous folks at Saturday’s banquet, we were able to raise the first $40,000 for our Parkinson’s drive-a-thon. By the time the expedition makes it full-circle around the globe next summer, we hope to have raised a million dollars toward finding a cure for this terrible disease (which affects family members of almost everyone onboard the expedition). One-hundred percent of the money we raise will go toward the researchers of the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, California. In coming weeks, I’ll post more information on how to pledge money (and get a chance to win one of the Land Rovers in the process) for our drive-a-thon.

Fundraising aside, the banquet was good fun — and, since it could be the last time in years many of us will be seen in tuxedos, I’ll post some photos here. Each of the text links below pops up into its own picture window:

Black-tie guys: The nine members of the DATW expedition team pose in formalwear at the Parkinson’s Institute fundraiser.

You’ll never see it this clean again: One of the four Land Rovers that will travel around the world serves as a display-piece in the ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel.

Family Ties: DATW team members pose with featured speaker Michael J. Fox. Michael will join the expedition for a few days next year, when we travel through his home turf in western Canada.

At the podium: Team member Todd Borgie, whose father suffers from Parkinson’s, addresses the fundraiser crowd on behalf of DATW.

Late day light: A view of Nob Hill and the TransAmerica building, from the observation lounge atop the Fairmont Hotel.

Left my heart in San Francisco: A sunset view of the Golden Gate bridge, taken from the observation lounge of the Fairmont Hotel.

Fuhgeddaboutit: DATW field ops director Justin Mounts and documentary filmmakers Adam Burgess and Neil Dana strike a mafioso pose. Note Drew Carey Show star Christa Miller in the background at right.

The Gunn Clan: Rolf with cousin Mary Hill, who teaches high school in the South Bay. Mary’s tartan is in honor of the Scottish side of the family. (For a historical perspective, here’s a picture of Mary and Rolf in the late 1970’s.)

[Kudos to Mary’s husband David Homa for the above photographs, and to Men’s Wearhouse for graciously donating our tuxedo rentals for the evening.]

Posted by | Comments Off on Dispatches from the Parkinson’s Institute ball  | October 20, 2003
Category: Rolf's News and Updates

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