Upcoming Events

APDA Wisconsin Events

We have lots of events that are still in the planning stages. Check back often or follow us on Facebook for the latest-and-greatest announcements.

Connecting Through Art Workshop

Saturday, August 24
2:00 -4:00 pm

Badger Rock Neighborhood Center (Madison)
The Connecting Through Art workshop is a new creative arts program that offers people with Parkinson’s disease the space and ability to express feelings, emotions and daily concerns through their artwork. This program encourages participants to socialize as they participate in art activities and also helps them to strengthen their fine motor movements. It is open to any adult who has been diagnosed with PD and their care partner.

The program is free, but registration is required. Email us or call 608-345-7938 to register. Space is limited!


Optimism WalkOptimism Walk

Sunday, August 25
Warner Park,  1625 Northport Drive, Madison, WI 53704
Walk with us. Strength in optimism. Hope in progress. The Optimism Walk is part of a nationwide movement to mobilize and inspire people to help put an end to Parkinson’s disease. This Wisconsin family-friendly event is a fun short walk, a cookout, community resource fair,  musical entertainment and time visiting and connecting with others in our Parkinson’s community.

Create a team, be part of a team or join the fun individually. Walking the full one-mile (twice around the track) is not mandatory, walk as long or short as you wish. Fundraising easy with these tips and templates. The Optimism Walk will happen – rain or shine.

Why Walk? Because…

  • Every nine minutes someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and the more funds we raise, the more people we can help.
  • There are great prizes. You get an Optimism Walk t-shirt if you raise $100+. Add an Optimism Walk hat when you raise $500+.  Best of all become a Circle of Optimism Member with a participation medal awarded during the opening ceremony and recognition on our social media and website when you raise $1,000+.
  • Funds raised enable APDA to continue providing local education and support to those touched by PD in your community and fund scientific research into the causes, prevention, treatments and ultimately the cure.

Download an Optimism Walk Brochure and/or Flyer to share with friends and coworkers. Register today or Donate to a team


SymposiumParkinson’s Symposium

Friday, November 1
Marriott West,  1313 John Q Hammons Drive, Middleton, WI 53562
We’re excited to bring back this much appreciated education and support program to the Madison area. The 2019 event will feature informational sessions for people living with PD and their families, caregivers and health professionals. In addition to uplifting keynote speaker there will be at least two session tracks and interactive presentations offering options for everyone including veterans, early onset and women.

Allie Topperwein, American Ninja Warrior and Parkinson’s advocate, will keynote this year’s Symposium with her upbeat message, “From Depression, Divorce and Disease to Determined, Divine Intervention and Direction”. In 2014, Allison divorced her husband, was forced to sell her home, and with her young daughter, move back in with her dad. And then, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at just 37 years-old. Her response? “This is not how my story is going to end!” Now, Allison travels throughout the country speaking about her journey and overcoming obstacles.

Another featured speaker will be Dr. Rebecca Gilbert, Chief Scientific Officer, American Parkinson Disease Association. She will address the advances in research and treatment of PD that are providing strength in optimism and hope in progress.

There will be more than 20 vendor booths showcasing a variety of products and services. Interested in becoming a sponsor or want to reserve a booth? Contact Rachel via email or at 608-345-7938


Recap and outcomes

Financial Planning for Parkinson’s presentation

Wednesday, May 22
Urban League of Greater Madison
Living with Parkinson’s disease can have significant impacts to your finances. But these needn’t take you by surprise. Come learn some of the most important tools for financial planning when Parkinson’s is part of your life. Whether you’re protecting wealth or seeking additional resources, you’ll learn resources and methods to build confidence in your financial future so that you can live life to the fullest. This free program was attended by nine people.


Perfect Pairings: An evening of wine & food

April 13, 2019
Black Hawk Country Club (Madison)
Perfect Pairings four-course small plate dinner and wine tasting event was a sell-out again 2019. This year we raised more than $40,000 from registrations, wine pull, silent auction and sponsorships. Key to this year’s success was two $4,000 auction wins for an overnight stay and cases of wine donated by Dutcher Crossing winery. This  event raised more than $25,000 in 2018, and we were thrilled to beat that amount this year – all in the name of supporting the Parkinson’s community. View photos of the 2018 event.


Parkinson’s Half Marathon and 5K Run, and 1-Mile Walk

April 6, 2019
Glacial Drumlin Trail (Cottage Grove)
Parkinson’s disease Awareness Month in April started with a bang as 1,400 runners and walkers joined us for the Parkinson’s Half Marathon and 5k. It’s always such fun to see so many teams of family and friends band together in fitness and support of those with PD.


Art Cart, Smile Through ArtSmile Through Art Workshop

March 2, 2019
DreamBank (Madison)
APDA Wisconsin hosted the Massachusetts Art Cart’s Smile Through Art program. About 20 people enjoyed an afternoon of creativity. If you couldn’t join us for this first visit, I have good news. They’ll be back August 24th for a Connecting Through Art program. Contact us to register.


Madison Capitols Hockey

Pucks for Parkinson’s

March 1, 2019
Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena (Middleton)
In early March, we had a great group of American Parkinson Disease Association supporters at the Pucks for PD event with the Madison Capitols hockey team. The Caps had a near sell-out crowd, so there were lots of eyes on the Nasett family as they dropped the puck to start the game. We raised nearly $400. More importantly, lots of new people learned about our organization. Oh, and we had a great time.


UW Madison Running25th Annual Fall 15K and 3x5K Relay

October 14, 2018
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Annual Fall Individual and Relay Race with the UW Madison Running Club was a success. More than 80 runners including the relay teams raised nearly $900 to be donated to APDA Wisconsin. Runners enjoyed a beautiful day, a moderately challenging course with lots of Fall color, and helping out a worthy cause.


Optimism Walk

Hundreds of people turn out to walk together, share a picnic meal, enjoy live music, and check out the vendor tables.
Hundreds of people turn out to walk together, share a picnic meal, enjoy live music, and check out the vendor tables.

August 2018
The 2018 Wisconsin Optimism Walk held August 26th was a huge success, far surpassing last year’s totals. The final numbers are still being tallied but we know there were more than 200 participants, who raised more than $33,000.

The weather was a extremely warm at about 88 degrees, but the breeze and the ice cream kept us from roasting in the heat too much. And, there was concern that heavy rainfall and area flooding would negatively impact attendance. But, no! It was a great turnout.

Feedback from participants was exuberant. Everyone loved the cookout, chance to talk with sponsors and warm-up exercises by the Art Cart team. The photo ops with DC Eagle (Madison Capitols mascot) and live music were also a hit.

We appreciate everyone who turned out to be part of the 2018 Wisconsin Optimism Walk, to mobilize and inspire people to step up and help put an end to Parkinson’s disease.

Thank you to our sponsors: Impax, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Senior Helpers, and Midwest Family Care.

Special thanks to:

  • Phil Schleicher for being the mastermind and driving force behind the walk, especially the food and the raffle.
  • Courtney Broadfoot, who was a rockstar at organizing our great volunteers.
  • Charlene Allo, from APDA national, for flying into Wisconsin to provide an extra set of hands.

View Facebook photo album!

To learn more about the event, here is an ABC TV27 newsclip interview of Rachel Wilberding and Phil Schleicher.


Optimism Events

These events  help raise funds to enable APDA Wisconsin Chapter to continue providing local support and education to those touched by Parkinson’s disease right in your own communities, and also fund scientific research into the causes. We’re always looking for event volunteers and sponsors, so give us a shout-out if you are interested.

Did you know that you can start your own fundraiser in your community and donate the proceeds to help the APDA further its mission? Let us know if you are planning an Optimism Event of your own and we would be happy to list it on our website. Please note that Optimism Events are not sponsored or affiliated with the APDA in any way.