Johnny O. Band playing the blues for Parkinson’s research
Special to the Post Independent
For the third year in a row, John Ohnmacht and members of his Johnny O. Band are going to play the blues in Redstone — and raise money for Parkinson disease (PD) research while they’re at it.
The Johnny O. Band will play at The Crystal Club in Redstone from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. It’s all part of a fundraiser that is becoming an annual tradition. John’s niece Olivia Savard of Redstone first got interested in raising money for PD research three years ago as she witnessed her step-grandfather suffer and eventually pass away from the disease. She learned about Team Fox, a nonprofit citizen fundraising group organized by the actor Michael J. Fox, who also suffers from the disease.
“At first I joined Team Fox to raise money for PD and my motivation was my late grandfather,” said Olivia. “Now, three years later, my motivation has expanded. I have met so many people through this foundation and through all of my fundraising — I am doing it for them.”
The Johnny O. Band is a local favorite. John Ohnmacht was born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley, and now heads up his award-winning, bluesy funk jam band out of Boulder.
Parkinson’s, or PD, is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that causes tremors, balance problems and irregular movements by those who suffer from it.
Now 16, Olivia first started raising money for PD research when she was just 13. She was acknowledged last year for being one of Team Fox’s top fundraisers for 2011. She attended a Team Fox awards dinner in New York City in April, and was the second to youngest person to be invited.
“Team Fox puts so much funding and energy into finding a cure,” Olivia said. “I have a ton of faith in the foundation and they are making progress.”
Olivia said she is thankful for the Team Fox organization, for her uncle’s willingness to participate in her fundraisers, and in the Crystal Valley community, which is so supportive of her efforts.
“I am so honored to have such a supportive community behind me,” she said. “This is the third time that the Johnny O. Band has played for Team Fox — I am so thankful for their talents and generosity.”
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