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All-Star Gala Benefits Michigan Parkinson’s Organizations

A year of partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and two Michigan organizations devoted to Parkinson’s disease has raised awareness and important funding toward a cure.

We’ve been proud to link arms with the Kirk Gibson Foundation and the Michigan Parkinson Foundation on several events and volunteer opportunities throughout 2019. Most recently, an Everybody versus Parkinson’s fundraiser raised more than $1.3 million for both organizations. The funding will support research and programs to help people with Parkinson’s and their families.

“It’s been an honor for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to be part of this dream team, engaging in a year-long effort with Everybody to raise awareness and support for this cause,” said President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp, who along with his wife, Amy, served as co-chairs of the Gala, which drew nearly 1,000 guests.

All the event’s co-chairs have a personal connection to the disease. Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011. Loepp’s father, as well as the father of Michigan Parkinson Foundation’s chairman, Jeff Laethem, died after battling the disease.

“Blue Cross has a long-standing history of supporting and investing in our communities to improve health and well-being, and we were proud to join the fight against Parkinson’s with an awareness campaign, employee volunteerism, charity events, donations, and by serving as presenting sponsor of the gala,” Loepp added. The Loepps also made a $50,000 personal contribution through the Daniel J. Loepp Family Foundation.

Through generous support of employees, vendors, and the Sign up and Give Back program, Blue Cross collectively donated more than $280,000.

Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman and Baseball Hall of Famers Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, as well as Lance Parrish, Dan Petry and Dave Rozema from the 1984 World Series Champion Tigers team, were among the stars on hand to support Gibson’s crusade to defeat Parkinson’s disease.

Loepp lauded Gibson for his commitment to raising awareness about his struggle, rather than retreating privately after his diagnosis.

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