Press Release

Bill and Betty Ray Awareness Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Charlotte, NC – October 12, 2015  – The Parkinson Association of the Carolinas (PAC) is hosting their Annual Bill and Betty Ray Awareness Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, Thursday October 22, 2015 at Quail Hollow Country Club. The Parkinson Association of the Carolinas (PAC) exists in large part today, as a result of the generosity of the late Bronce “Bill” and Betty Ray of Charlotte. Bill died in 1992 and upon Betty’s death in 1997, the Association received a generous gift. PAC used this bequest to establish an endowment that provides funds, annually, to help support the mission of the organization.

The Parkinson Association of the Carolinas (PAC) is pleased to honor Mr. Wendall (Windy) Woodall with the 2015 Ray of Hope Award. Windy serves on the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas Board of Directors and is also Chair of the Support Services Committee. He leads a vibrant and active Parkinson support group, which we are using to model new support groups. Windy is a servant leader in the community as a strong advocate of Parkinson’s disease awareness, and is an inspiration to all who have Parkinson’s. He has never chosen to give into the disease but rather to take this opportunity to embrace life to its fullest. Windy gives tirelessly of his time, talent and treasure to PAC. He is there to reach out to another person with Parkinson by phone or in person. Windy put together 11 teams of walkers for our Annual Move It! Walk in support of Parkinson’s. He is the author of Shuffle, A Way Forward, Whatever the Challenge, and is working on his second book about his experience with Deep Brain Stimulation.

The luncheon will also have a very special guest speaker, Astronaut Rich Clifford. Rich’s inspirational story takes us on a personal journey of perseverance and bravery.  Diagnosed with Parkinson’s after his second spaceflight Clifford continued space exploration climbing aboard the shuttle Atlantis, performing a six hour spacewalk while docked to the MIR.  Clifford is the recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, NASA Space Flight Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

Today, Rich is retired and spends most of his time traveling the country, sharing his story to inspire thousands. “Everyone with PD handles it differently,” says Rich. “Don’t let it get in the way of living. Life is too good. Remember, keep going — the sky’s the limit.”

PAC was formally recognized as a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization in 2002 with a mission “to serve as a resource for individuals and their families affected by Parkinson’s disease in the Carolinas, through education, community outreach and direct support”.  It is estimated that 56,000 people throughout North and South Carolina have Parkinson’s disease.  PAC also offers 75 support groups in North and South Carolina, a toll-free helpline, information and referrals, and movement therapy classes.

Thursday, October 22, 2015
11:30 am – 1:30pm
Quail Hollow Country Club, Charlotte, NC
Public is welcome to attend this Fundraiser Luncheon
Sign up to attend:


If you would like more information about the programs and services offered by the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas, please call 704-248-3722 or visit our website