Two Southwest Florida groups devoted to battling Parkinson’s disease are increasingly competing for funds and attention, fueling fears that they are duplicating efforts and alienating the local philanthropic community, writes the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota.
The Parkinson Research Foundation, launched in 2003, is the larger of the groups, raising nearly $2.5-million last year. The four-year-old Neuro Challenge Foundation reported $166,743 in revenue but has a strong partner in Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which provides Neuro Challenge with office space and underwrites some of its programs.
An emerging rivalry between the two foundations, one of which recently hired an official who had previously worked for the other, is causing distress among patients, donors, and health-care providers, according to the newspaper.
While Southwest Florida, with its high concentration of well-to-do seniors, provides firm ground for a Parkinson’s charity, two of them in the same area can be “quite a disaster,” said Dot Ridings, a former president of the Council on Foundations. “The disease groups run into this a lot. People get confused,” she said.