Rock Steady Boxing Jacksonville (JAX HOPE INC) and the First Coast Parkinson's Run
are two of the most well-known entities in the First Coast region supporting people
with Parkinson's by bringing resources and services to those impacted while increasing
awareness of the disease. To increase its reach, create a greater impact, and better
foster community for people with Parkinson’s and their care partners, the First Coast
Parkinson's Run and JAX HOPE INC, previously two separate organizations, will now
fall under JAX HOPE INC.
As of April 1, 2021, First Coast Parkinson's Run Co-Founder and Race Director, Jennifer
Otero, has been named President of JAX HOPE INC, with outgoing President Kristen Gray,
remaining on as a Senior Advisor to the organization. A new Board has been named to
support the mission and its goals, members include Marilyn Wilson, Alicia Hollinger,
Vanessa Hollinger, Dr. Terry Hermiston, Dr. Michelle Hermiston, and Dawn Saracino as
a secondary Advisor. JAX HOPE INC will serve as an umbrella over multiple programs:
Rock Steady Boxing Jacksonville, the First Coast Parkinson's Newsletter, the Parkinson's
Resource Service, the Support Group Assistance Program, and the Bill Wilson's
"This is an exciting time for us all! I have watched the awareness of this disease grow
over the last decade and the access to groups like Rock Steady Boxing flourish, but now
we need to take it to the next level. Combining resources and expanding our mission
will make access to all types of resources and services easier and faster for people
with Parkinson's and their families. This is critical. I am honored to be a part of this
organization that my dear friends Kristen, Marilyn, and Bill started. I am energized by
the Board, the Advisors, and the many stakeholders we have already met with regarding
JAX HOPE INC and its transformation. The memory of my mother Lorraine Hollinger and
PD Warrior Bill Wilson will live on in our actions" stated Jennifer Otero.
April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and this announcement comes at a time when the
disease is at the forefront of conversation and many awareness events are scheduled.
Typically, the First Coast Parkinson's Run is held this month; however, due to COVID,
it has been pushed to September 18, 2021. Look for events from JAX HOPE INC beginning
in May 2021 via collaborations with other PD-related organizations and the unveiling of
plans for the future Bill Wilson's Parkinson's Center at the First Coast Parkinson's Run.