Porridge for Parkinson’s raises more than $270,000 for UHN

Participants at the 2023 Porridge for Parkinson's fundraiser

On November 12, 2023, the biennial Porridge for Parkinson’s brunch took place at Evergreen Brick Works. This fundraising event featured a brunch prepared and served by top Toronto chefs, a brunch-themed silent auction, and special guest speakers. The sold-out brunch raised more than $270,000 net in support of the Parkinson’s Research Excellence Fund at UHN’s Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s disease and the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic within Krembil Brain Institute.

Porridge for Parkinson’s first started in Vancouver in 2001, by former CBC radio broadcaster Marg Miekle, after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the early age of 43. She was determined to do something to advance a cure for this progressive disease. Her symptoms, as with most people living with Parkinson’s disease, were least active in the morning. This is when she had the idea to start a low-key breakfast event in her home to raise money for Parkinson’s research. Porridge for Parkinson’s in Vancouver has raised millions and has inspired similar events across the country.

In 2009, the first Porridge for Parkinson’s brunch event was held in Toronto. The event has since raised more than $1 million for Parkinson’s research, made possible through a committed group of volunteers, guests and donors.

(L to R) Dr. Anthony Lang, event co-chair Adrienne Anderson, event co-chair, Harry Forestell
(L to R) Dr. Anthony Lang, event co-chair Adrienne Anderson, event co-chair, Harry Forestell

TV personality and fashion editor Jeanne Beker emceed the 2023 brunch in Toronto where guests were entertained by Fifth Element jazz quintet. Special guest speaker, UHN’s Dr. Anthony Lang gave an informative and inspiring presentation about UHN’s Parkinson’s work and educating the next generation of leaders in the field. Patient Harry Forestell shared his Parkinson’s journey with heartfelt passion, speaking highly of his care at UHN.

Guests were in for a treat with gourmet dishes served by more than a dozen incredible chefs including Joanne Yolles, Jamie Kennedy, Kata Ambrus of Chocolat de Kat, Sam Davis of Primrose Bagel Co, Donna Dooher of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Yoni Kamil of Lev Bakery, Sandra Katsiou of Baker and Scone, Toben Kochman of Toben Food by Design, Paula Navarrete of Culinary creator, Adrian Niman and Lindsay Klein of Food Dudes, Maria Polotan and Akshitha Goud of COOKIN, Patti Robinson of Robinson Bread, Anthony Rose of Wilder & Rose, and Phillip Walters of Walt Hospitality Group.

The world-leading UHN team in attendance included Dr. Lang, Dr. Alfonso Fasano, Chair in Neuromodulation and Surgical Co-Director of the Movement Disorders Centre, and Dr. Susan Fox, Associate Director of the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease at UHN.

Special thanks to all of the sponsors, guests, supporters and volunteers who made the 2023 event a smashing success!

For a complete history of Porridge for Parkinson’s, including pictures, the full list of sponsors, research supported, participating guest speakers and chefs, please visit porridgeforparkinsonsto.org

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