Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” With this in mind, West Chester University employee Gina Giachero is not giving up her fight for a cure of Parkinson’s disease.
Giachero’s sister Jenn was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2003 at the age of 25.
Sunday March 28 will mark the 6th annual Parkinson’s Benefit held to raise money for Jenn’s Movers and Shakers, Giachero’s team for the annual Parkinson’s walk in Philadelphia.
Jenn’s Movers and Shakers participates in the Parkinson Council’s annual walk, which is a ten-mile trek through Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, beginning at Lloyd Hall behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Channel 6 ABC’s meteorologist Dave Murphy will kick off the event with the Phillie Phanatic.
Giachero and the rest of Jenn’s Movers and Shakers will raise money through various events, including a bake sale and a beef and beer.
In addition to being a dedicated mother to her infant son, Giachero organized the 6th annual Parkinson’s benefit performance and silent auction.
It will be held in Gates Recital Hall at West Chester University on Sunday March 28 at 3 p.m.
Giachero, an accompanist of West Chester University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, has been playing piano for various theatre classes, recitals, and performances for many years.
In her 6th annual Parkinson’s benefit, she will be accompanying West Chester University students and alumni as well as local professional actors and students of the Young People’s Theatre Workshop, a Swarthmore theatre group for which Giachero worked.
The performers will be singing various Broadway tunes from shows such as Next to Normal, Miss Saigon, Urinetown, Barnum and The Wedding Singer.
After six years of Broadway-based benefit performances, Giachero says, “I always find it funny though, because [my sister, Jenn] very much does not like musical theater!
“But this is the best way I know how to raise money, and I’m fortunate enough to know so many talented performers who donate their time and talent to the event.”
In addition to the performance, there will also be a silent auction.
Auction items will include hotel stays, gift certificates to restaurants, tickets to local theatre companies, Phillies tickets, and other various paraphernalia from Philadelphia sports teams.
There is no known cure or form of prevention for Parkinson’s disease. The Parkinson Council’s mission is to promote research into causes and cures for Parkinson’s disease and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
Proceeds from auction items and free will contributions to see the performance will be donated to these causes.
Beth Serowsky is a third year student majoring in theater and English. She can be reached at BS653261@wcupa.edu.