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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 04/30/09
Media Contact: Cindy Starr, 513-558-3505
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Sunflower Revolution VI Primed to Bloom

CINCINNATIóA fun-filled Sunflower Streetfest will highlight a new format for the regionís largest and most important fundraiser for Parkinsonís disease research and wellness, Sunflower Revolution organizers announced today.


The sixth annual Sunflower Revolution will take place Sept. 11, 12 and 13. The event is a collaboration involving the University of Cincinnati (UC) Neuroscience Institute, the University Hospital Foundation, the Mayfield Clinic, the Historic Milford Association and the Davis Phinney Foundation, based in Boulder, Colo.


Sunflower Revolution VI will showcase:


  • The first Sunflower Streetfest, Sept. 11-12, in downtown Milford, Ohio.
  • A free educational symposium for patients, families and caregivers, Sept. 12, at the Savannah Center in West Chester, Ohio.

  • Fundraising bike rides of 100, 40 and 20 kilometers Sept. 13, starting in Milford and touring the surrounding countryside.

Since 2004 the Sunflower Revolution and related events have raised $1.3 million for Parkinsonís disease research and wellness programs at the UC Neuroscience Institute at University Hospital.


Sunflower organizers also announced that Barb and Dale Ankenman of Florence, Ky., will serve as the eventís honorary chairs. Dale Ankenman, who was diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease at age 46, is a cyclist and Parkinsonís advocate. Major sponsors include Reece-Campbell Construction, University Hospital, Kroger Company, the City of Milford and Local 12.


Organizers will kick off the Sunflower season with a wine-tasting benefit from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, at the Miami Township Kroger. The benefit will feature award-winning wines from the 2009 International Wine Festival. Tickets are $40 each; call (513) 584-0695.


The cost of the Sept. 13 bike ride is $80 per cyclist. The 100-kilometer ride includes a Platinum Challenge for serious cyclists, while the 20-kilometer family ride includes a scavenger hunt along the Little Miami Scenic Trail. New this year is the Peloton Club, which welcomes individual riders, rider teams and donors who raise $1,000 or more, with special admission, VIP activities and custom jerseys.


For more information about the Sunflower Streetfest, educational Symposium and bike rides, please visit


The Sunflower Revolution was founded in 2004 by Kathleen Krumme, a Cincinnati bicycle shop manager whose late father had Parkinsonís disease, and cycling legend Davis Phinney, a former Tour de France stage-winner who was diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease at age 40. Phinneyís 18-year-old son, Taylor, is world cycling champion in the 4-kilometer individual pursuit.


Scientists at the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinsonís Disease and Movement Disorders recently received research grants totaling $153,000 from the annual Sunflower Revolution fundraiser. Kim Seroogy, PhD, a professor of neurology at UC and director of the Selma Schottenstein Harris Laboratory for Research in Parkinsonís, received $53,000 to study the effects of exercise therapy on stress-induced depression in an animal model. Timothy Collier, PhD, a professor of neurology at UC, received $50,000 to investigate the ability of antidepressants to protect dopamine neurons that are lost in the disease in an animal model. And Caryl Sortwell, PhD, an associate professor at UC, received $50,000 to study the mechanism that may underlie some of the therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinsonís disease.


The UC Neuroscience Institute, a regional center of excellence, is dedicated to patient care, research, education, and the development of new treatments for stroke, brain and spinal tumors, epilepsy, traumatic brain and spinal injury, Alzheimerís disease, Parkinsonís disease, multiple sclerosis, disorders of the senses (swallowing, voice, hearing, pain, taste and smell) and psychiatric conditions (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression).


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