Zoe Butchen’s fund raising continues for Parkinson’s cause

Zoe Butchen

Zoe Butchen

Zoe Butchen, the Ridgefield High School freshman who organized the Dance Shake Donate event that drew 1,000 people to Main Street last November, was recognized as a top fund-raiser for 2014 at the Michael J. Fox MVP Awards Dinner at Gotham Hall in New York City on April 10.

Her efforts from October through December 2014 raised nearly $50,000 to battle Parkinson’s disease, with which her father was diagnosed.

Zoe’s efforts are continuing in 2015. By the middle of April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, she had raised an additional $1,696 from online donations, with more expected in the coming months.

Broadway choreographer Sam Viverito contacted Zoe and drove to Ridgefield to meet with her and support her efforts.

“He expressed his desire to support Dance Shake Donate through his extensive connections within the dance community,” Zoe said. “With his inspiration for doing so, I am currently working to expand the campaign’s appeal by linking it to all songs that include ‘shake’ in the lyrics or title. We believe this will successfully engage a broader audience. For example Shake, Rattle and Roll will appeal to my grandparents more so than Shake It Off.”

Zoe realized that most of the support that created her fund-raising success in 2014 came from events and organizations rather than through videos. So her focus in 2015 will be more on Dance Shake Donate events and outreach to communities, organizations, and corporations.

Farmingville Elementary School, for example, supported Dance Shake Donate by incorporating a dance to “Shake It Off” at the end of its school play in March.

A Michael J. Fox Foundation event called “Tour de Fox” will be making a stop and appearance at JoyRide in Ridgefield on Friday, June 12, based on the relationship that Zoe and her family have with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The event features Sam Fox, an extreme adventure athlete who will bike and hike his way across the United States — climbing the highest peak in each state — in just three months.   

People can support Dance Shake Donate by creating a community or corporate/team-building event with Zoe’s support, or simply make a donation at DanceShakeDonate.com

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