During the month of April 2016, the Miami Marlins’ star infielder, Dee Gordon, teamed with the Blechman Foundation in the Second Annual Stolen Base Challenge to raise awareness of PD and funding for PD research. Gordon encouraged fans to pledge funds for every base that he steals that month. The Challenge’s slogan is “Help Us Dee-Feat Parkinson’s Disease.” We like to say that those who take the pledge will help to “Dee-feat” PD one stolen base at a time.
The connection in April between the Stolen Base Challenge and PD is a natural. April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month and the start of the Major League Baseball season. Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder, and stealing bases requires fast movement. Parkinson’s disease steals away the ability of its victims to move, and Dee Gordon is among the very best at stealing bases in baseball.
The 2016 Challenge marked the second consecutive year in which Gordon has partnered with the Blechman Foundation to raise awareness of and research funding for PD. The Challenge in 2015 exceeded the Foundation’s wildest expectations, and Gordon was nothing short of sensational in his support of the effort. Dee stole 8 bases in April, the Challenge attracted individual and corporate support, and over 80 people took the pledge to raise more than $12,000. The Challenge attracted national and local media attention, including TV coverage in the New York and Miami markets, and print articles as well. Check out the Press Center for some of our TV and print coverage from 2015.
The 2016 Challenge received more than $15,000 in pledges from many supporters.
The Foundation is grateful for the support of Dee Gordon and his professional managers, the Miami Marlins, the media, and the many people who supported the challenge.