A Unique Fundraising Event for Parkinson’s Disease Research
Our 2015 breakfast was held on Sunday November 8 2015 at the lovely Vaughan Estate and it was a fabulous success! A huge thanks to our celebrated Chefs who prepared a delicious breakfast: Jamie Kennedy, Joanne Yolles, Donna Dooher, Martin Kouprie, Jen Cerny, Noni Castonguay, Sandra Katsiou and David Wolfman.
We also want to thank our guest speaker Harry McMurtry and our emcee Jeanne Beker. Please read the moving SPEECH Harry delivered at our event and see Jeanne’s message on the right. We thank them both for their inspiring words.
We would like to express our deep appreciation to our generous donors and supporters. Please click the links for our list of Benefactors and Silent Auction Donors. Thanks to all who attended for making our event a great success!
All proceeds benefit research programs adjudicated through the Scientific Advisory Board of the Parkinson Society Canada.
A message from our Emcee Jeanne Beker
My dear mother, Bronia Beker, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about a decade ago. At the time, we knew precious little about the potential ravages of the disease, but certainly learned more than we wanted over the past ten years. It was heartbreaking to see my brilliant, “Energizer Bunny” of a mum slowly succumb to Parkinson’s, as she gallantly tried to fight one of the toughest battles imaginable. My mother was a Holocaust survivor after all. And though she was fortunate enough to be under the care of one of the best neurologists – Toronto’s brilliant Dr. Tony Lang – this cruel disease took its toll.
My beloved mum passed away last May, at the age of 94. It was her time. But her indomitable spirit lives on. Since the very first “Porridge for Parkinson’s” breakfast, my mum delighted in attending, charmed to be able to meet and chat with others who were dealing with Parkinson’s, and very keen on learning more about the research progress that was being made. While I doubt she thought there’d be a cure in her lifetime, she certainly had hope that there’d be one in mine. This year, it gave me special pleasure—and great honour—to emcee this wonderful event. I know my mum will was watching….
The first Porridge for Parkinson’s breakfast in Toronto was held in the fall of 2007 and has now become a biennial event. Porridge for Parkinson’s is an elegant morning that features a breakfast prepared and served by Toronto’s celebrity chefs, a breakfast-themed silent auction and special guests from media and medicine. Over $500,000 in net proceeds has been raised to date, with a very strong volunteer contribution. Read about how it all started.
Our Latest News
What a great event!
On Sunday November 8 2015 we held our Porridge for Parkinson’s breakfast at the Vaughan Estate. The event was sold out and 300 guests enjoyed fabulous breakfast cuisine prepared by our wonderful chefs. (see their names below). Longtime PforP friend Jeanne Beker was again our emcee and our special guest Harry McMurtry, delivered an inspiring speech titled Things Can be Better. Read it here. Thanks to our generous donors and supporters our net proceeds exceeded our ambitious target! Photos of this lovely morning taken by our photographer Jo Dickens and a few others have been posted in our gallery.
Chefs UPDATE: View this personal message from notable Pastry Chef Joanne Yolles
Our Porridge for Parkinson’s 2015 participating Chefs will be preparing and serving a range of PforP favourites and delightful new treats. We are excited to announce: Jamie Kennedy, Jamie Kennedy Kitchens; Joanne Yolles, formerly of Scaramouche and Pangaea; Donna Dooher, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen; Martin Kouprie, Pangaea; Jen Cerny and Noni Castonguay, StirCrazy Catering; Sandra Katsiou, Baker and Scone; and David Wolfman, Aboriginal TV Chef and Culinary Arts Professor.
(Video copyright Porridge for Parkinson’s)
Announcing our 2015 special guest speaker: Harry McMurtry!
Harry McMurtry was a litigation lawyer until Parkinson’s disease cut short his professional career. Harry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005 at the age of 42 and retired from the legal profession in 2010. He had DBS surgery the following year. With encouragement from a friend with the disease, Harry started fundraising for various Parkinson’s causes. In 2011, he raised over $20,000 for Parkinson Society Canada through Parkinson SuperWalk. The next year, he put on a concert and raised almost $35,000 for PSC. In 2013, Harry aimed higher. Relying on his good friend Tom Cochrane (whose father, coincidentally, suffered from PD), they raised $460,000 for the movement disorders centre at the Toronto Western Hospital.
Harry has assembled an amazing team to organize 500 Miles for Parkinson’s, an ambitious transnational project with events to be held in 2016 and with a goal of raising over $500,000 for Parkinson’s research. Harry lives in New York City with his wife, Deborah Bradley. He has three children from a previous marriage and three stepchildren.
We are delighted to announce that Jeanne Beker will be our 2015 Emcee!
Jeanne Beker is a Canadian Journalist, Media Personality, and Fashion Entrepeneur. She was host of the internationally syndicated Fashion Television (FT) which aired for 27 years and had viewers in more than 120 countries. Jeanne has been an editor and author for numerous publications and is currently a featured style columnist for the Globe and Mail and Post City magazine. She was recently named Style Editor of The Shopping Channel and hosts a regular series for the channel. Her fashion credits include her clothing line, Edit by Jeanne Beker as well as a number of product lines. Jeanne has won numerous awards and was recently appointed to the Order of Canada.
A Conversation with Dr Brian Goldman & Dr Philip Hébert
On April 28th our Donors and Patrons enjoyed a special evening at Charles Pachter’s Moose Factory Gallery, which featured an engaging conversation between Dr Brian Goldman from CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art and Dr Philip Hébert, Physician and Medical Ethicist. View photos of the event in our gallery.
Chef Jamie Kennedy & Shelagh Rogers
Listen to celebrity Chef Jamie Kennedy speak with Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter about his unique approach to food, his cookbook, JK: The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook and more… (second half of a great episode).
Andy Barrie in the short doc: The Voice
View this powerful film The Voice about former CBC broadcaster Andy Barrie and his journey with Parkinson’s Disease.
Listen to his interview with Carol Off on As It Happens.
Remembering our patron John Evans
Porridge for Parkinson’s Toronto was saddened to learn that our patron and longtime supporter, John Evans died on February 13, 2015. We offer our sincere condolences to Gay Evans and all their family. A memorial service was held at Grace Church on the Hill on Thursday February 19, 2015. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Parkinson Society of Canada. Globe and Mail Obituary Toronto Star Article
Congratulations Chef Jamie Kennedy
Our founding Porridge for Parkinson’s Celebrity Chef Jamie Kennedy has published a fabulous new cookbook called J.K. Interview and details here.
Congratulations Jeanne Beker
Our longtime Porridge for Parkinson’s supporter Jeanne Beker has been honoured with an appointment to the Order of Canada.
Jeanne Beker is a contributing editor to the Star and host of Fashion Television Channel. Watch her on CTV, E! and FashionTelevisionChannel.
Remembering Marg Meikle
Porridge for Parkinson’s Toronto was saddened to learn that our founding patron, friend and inspiration, Marg Meikle, died on December 21, 2013.
A memorial service was held on January 18, 2014 in Vancouver. We offer our sincere condolences to Marg’s family and friends.