Marisa and Michelle Krulicki began their involvement with Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario (PSSO) as walkers on Team Popsy at the Waterloo Regional walk in 2011. Marisa organized the team for her grandfather Bill Renaud, lovingly called ‘Popsy’ by all. They were very pleased that as a new team they placed second in overall funds raised at the local Parkinson’s walk.
In 2015 Marisa and a friend volunteered for the walk held at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School. Marisa’s mom Michelle followed her lead by volunteering for the walk the next year. M&M, as Marisa and Michelle are affectionately called, co-chaired the Waterloo Region WALK-IT for Parkinson’s in 2016.
The walk was both intimidating and exhilarating. New to the volunteer walk committee, M&M didn’t know what to expect in terms of turnout, timing and dealing with the terrible weather. But everyone – volunteers, walkers and families, sponsors, as well as our MC and DJ – were so supportive and encouraging that M&M came back for year two.
Being involved with PSSO is a natural progression for both Marisa and Michelle. They were very close to Dad/Popsy and he set the standard for volunteering one’s time. Bill Renaud was well known in their community as the ‘go to guy’ for fundraising. He volunteered for Heart and Stroke and the St. Mary’s High School Capital Fundraising Campaign. He was also President for both the KW Oktoberfest and the Twin Cities Kiwanis Club to name a few. Before Parkinson’s took away his ability to walk, talk and (his favourite) eat, Bill Renaud always said ‘yes’ to whoever needed help. So, volunteering with PSSO is Marisa and Michelle’s way of honouring and connecting with Dad/Popsy even though he is no longer with them.
Marisa and Michelle are both inspired by the people they have met who live with Parkinson’s by living their lives to the best of their abilities with hope and determination. M&M’s wish is that their volunteering, with the money raised at their local walk, helps to find a cure for Parkinson’s and provides support for those living with Parkinson’s and for their family members.