Local farmer directs $2,500 to Parkinson’s exercise class


Don Waterman, from left, Debbie Waterman, Asa Lineback (baby), Lucy Lineback, Avie Lineback, Kate Lineback, Addie Cunningham, Peter Lynch, Jeanne Flanders and Jim Flanders. (Photo submitted)

Climbing isn’t an activity that many would think of for those with Parkinson’s disease, but for those that attend The Climb, great strides are being made toward improving symptoms of the debilitating disease.

The Indiana Parkinson Foundation of Hamilton County will be able to continue improving its Parkinson’s-specific exercise class, called The Climb, thanks to one farmer and America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM.

Grow Communities gives farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations. Jim Flanders was the winning farmer in Hamilton County this year. Last year, Jim’s wife, Jeanne, won and she also directed the money to The Climb.

Flanders, affected by Parkinson’s disease himself, says that he’s seen an improvement in his symptoms since he joined the class, so he directed the donation to The Climb again this year.

“They used the money last year to buy exercise equipment for the class that has been proven to help with the effects of Parkinson’s disease,” Jim said. “I’ve noticed a positive difference since I started taking the class.”

The organization will use the $2,500 donation to buy additional equipment for the class and to provide scholarships for people who cannot afford the weekly class fee.

“This generous donation will help us continue to make an impact in the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease in central Indiana through The Climb,” said Addie Cunningham, vice chair of the Indiana Parkinson Foundation.

Grow Communities is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to invest in farm communities such as Hamilton County. It aims to highlight the important contributions farmers such as Jim Flanders make every day to our society.