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Paul DeLuca
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P4P History – The Early Years.
It all started late in 2008 when Becky Dunlop of the JHU PDMD Center approached Paul DeLuca and Laverne Williams with the idea that we should organize a running team to participate in the Baltimore Running Festival.   She explained that a few years prior there had been a group known as the “Movers and Shakers”, led by Jeff Shinholt, that had quickly built a faithful following and help raised funds for the center’s initiative.
Paul and Laverne agreed to serve as Co-Chairs for the 2009 team.    The first year’s committee was a small group, Paul, Laverne, Becky, Quinn Tyler (PDMD center), Dave Brown, and the two Sue’s.    We settled on the name Pacing for Parkinson’s with a P4P logo.   We set a modest goal to raise $30,000 in the first year.  When race day hit, we had 78 runners and had raised nearly $50,000.    Our first corporate sponsor was NuStar Energy, who have supported us generously through all 10 years.   Our Top Team of the year was Sydney’s Turtles led by Sydney Keys and the entire Keys family.   Some of the runners with us in year 1 that became longtime supporters include Steve Anderson, Shellie DeLuca, Grace DeLuca, Pat Kaunitz,  Michael Kaunitz, Dr. Grill, Sydney Keys, Will Keys, Eric Keys, Elaine Keys, Arita McCoy, Erika Swan.
In the coming three years we grew at a modest pace, with runner totals of 113, 122, and 160 in 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively.  Each year raising between $50,000 and $60,000.   The significant additions in 2010 were the addition of Pat Kaunitz and Stacye Kellerman to the P4P committee, and the overwhelming support from Team John and the extended Kellermann family.   2011 saw a fierce team fundraising competition brewing between Team DeLuca, Sydney’s Turtles, and Team John.   Team John blew the rest away, raising nearly $10,000!   2011 also marked the addition of Andy Katz to our committee.  Through these three years we were quickly outgrowing the small 10x10 tent space that the race organizers would allocate to us on race day.   We were excited and thankful in 2012 when the Charity tents were moved to Ravens stadium and the large hospitality tents.   The 2012 race also marked two significant additions to our committee that would impact the growth we would see in the coming years – Bailey Vernon and Tom Kozlowski. 
Although our dollars raised began modestly, we came to realize in the early years that P4P’s impact went far beyond the funds raised for the JHU PDMD center.   Our little grassroots running team was in fact building a Parkinson’s support community unlike anything we had anticipated.   The ability of our committee members and runners to meet others battling the disease, celebrate their accomplishments they achieved on race day, and to unite their families through the Parkinson’s community event all produced a community feeling that significantly enhance the existing community support built through other educational and family support activities.
In 2013 exploded to 286 runners, solidifying our role as one of the largest charity partners of the Baltimore Running Festival.   We hit the $100,000 mark that year, and have maintained the six figure annual mark since then.  We also revamped our logo that year, marking the debut of the core of the current P4P graphics.    This set the stage for the next half-decade of P4P dominance at The Baltimore Running Festival…

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