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Martial artists kick their way through research fundraiser

October 2, 2018

Madden McKeever, 5, kicks his way through the recent Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases 5K ‘kick-a-thon’ challenge on Sept. 3.

In an effort to help “kick” Parkinson’s Disease, more than 100 martial artists from the Viola Karate Dojo and sister program Norwin Ninjas kicked for one mile non-stop through Boyce Park on Sept. 3.

In addition to showcasing their skills through the Kick-A-Thon, participants raised and donated over $10,000 to aid 5K event host Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegnerative Diseases research efforts, according to a news release.

Bill Viola Jr., founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment, and former state Sen. Sean Logan developed the “Kick” concept.

“Last year the ‘Kick’ raised just over $5,000 with 50 participants. This year we doubled both, bringing us up to over $15,000 with just two kicks-a-thons,” Viola says in the release.

The estimated amount of kicks thrown by each participant was 1,500 and with over 100 students, the total number was approximately 150,000 kicks, he adds.

Leading students included Mike Barone, 9, with $2,015; Aidan Thornton, 11, $900; and Madden McKeever, 5, $800, Viola says.

PIND spearheads efforts to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s Disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Details: PIND5K.org

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