About 50 people participated in the Nov. 10 Josh Faircloth Memorial 5K Run held in Ellenwood to benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
ELLENWOOD — About 50 people raced through neighborhood streets in North Henry County recently intent on raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease.
The Josh Faircloth Memorial 5K Run was held in Ellenwood and benefited the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. It also raised $700 for the foundation for education and research.
Peggy Sensabaugh and other members of First Baptist Church of Ellenwood organized the Nov. 10 charity run in honor of the late Josh Faircloth.
“He was a wonderful man,” said Sensabaugh.
Faircloth was a deacon and charter member of the church founded in 1981.
His widow, Dot Faircloth, said he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about five years ago. The disease is a progressive neurological disorder that currently has no cure.
She said her husband survived five heart attacks over his lifetime. He died June 9 of complications related to hip replacement. He was 78.
“He is greatly missed and was greatly loved,” said Faircloth. “It was very sobering to have my husband honored in such a way and in such a good way to be profitable to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. He would have been honored to have been a person that they would honor.”
Josh Faircloth was the father of five. He had 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren with one on the way.
“We are very proud to have been blessed with him as a husband, father and grandfather,” said Dot Faircloth. “Josh endured the challenge of Parkinson’s disease with courage, grace and dignity. We are truly humbled to have a memorial 5K run in his honor to help others who are touched by Parkinson’s.”
Faircloth graduated from Auburn University in 1958 with a degree in civil engineering. In 1973, he started his own company, W. J. Faircloth Contractors Inc. in Ellenwood, which he later ran with his sons. He retired in 2001.
“He stayed very busy with his business,” said Dot Faircloth. “But he loved to read and spend time with his family. He was very honest and trustworthy and loving. Christmas Eve would have been our 58th anniversary.”
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation officials named last weekend’s charity run as one of more than a hundred different fundraising events nationwide for the foundation. They are part of the organization’s “PDF Champion” program that started a decade ago to involve more grassroots in its campaign to raise awareness and funds.
Each of the events raises between $500 and $45,000, said Kelly Bresnahan, the foundation’s events senior development coordinator. She said more than 50 percent of the proceeds go to research on the disease.
“The research right now is very promising,” said Melissa Barry, spokeswoman for the foundation.
Barry said the organization has helped fund research to the tune of $96 million since its inception in 1957.
“We estimate about 60,000 people are diagnosed each year with Parkinson’s and about 1 million live with the disease nationwide,” Barry said.
Organizers said they are looking at hosting another charity run in April which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
They are still collecting donations. Donors may send contributions directly to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation to the attention of Josh Faircloth Memorial 5K, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, N.Y. 10018.
Visit www.pdf.org to learn more about the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.