Message From The President

Message From The President:

To contact PAOC’s President:


I write this message with enthusiasm and pride as PAOC, PEP4U, and Tremble Clefs (TC) continue to expand at lightning speed to provide services for people with Parkinson’s (PWP). 

Our most significant accomplishment since my last “message” has been the development of a Tai Chi program of therapeutic exercise for PWP. Tai Chi contributes to enhanced balance, relaxation, flexibility, strength, concentration, and stress reduction. The class is offered at no cost on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10 and 11 a.m. at the Laguna Country United Methodist Church in Laguna Woods. Instructor Jane Kerr has taught Tai Chi for over 18 years. She co-founded the Tai Chi Parkinson’s Program at the Stanford University Medical Center, and is also licensed to teach Tai Ji Quan (Moving for Better Balance).

Another invaluable program that PAOC is sponsoring is a Fall Prevention Workshop, scheduled for Sat. Sept. 21. Due to the nature of Parkinson’s disease, falls are a fairly common occurrence among PWP, due to postural instability and impaired gait. Consequences can be severe and incapacitating, with physical, psychological, and financial ramifications for both PWP and their families. Understanding the dangers associated with frequent falls and implementing tools and techniques to minimize falls is of utmost importance. PAOC’s Fall Prevention Workshop is intended to serve this need.

PAOC’s webpage ( has recently been redesigned to be more “user-friendly”: current events, publications, and program links, including PEP4U and TC, are available.

In June, PAOC, PEP4U and TC all participated in the Parkinson’s Foundation Annual Moving Day Fundraiser which was again held at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Tremble Clefs was again invited to provide entertainment for the event. 

Another therapeutic exercise under consideration as a possible PAOC program is “Dance with PD.” This program, gaining popularity among the Parkinson’s disease community, was first introduced in its research phase at Stanford University. It was implemented 15 years ago in Brooklyn, New York and is now offered in 16 countries. “Dance with PD” program results demonstrate that participants experience improvement in walking and fine-motor skills such tapping a finger, and feel an uplift in mood and a better sense of self that comes from gaining more physical control.

“Dancing has all the elements Parkinson’s patients can benefit from: extension and flexibility and moving with intention,” says Damara Ganley, a professional dancer and trained Dance for PD instructor.

In June, PEP4U celebrated the 5th anniversary of PEP4U and honored Jacquie and Alan Massing for their hard work in founding this exercise program for PWP.

As PEP4U has implemented more programs for PWP the administrative demands for managing the programs have become more time-consuming. Consequently, PEP4U is currently in the process of contracting a part-time administrator.

There continues to be a need to hire more instructors for exercise classes that are exceeding at times 30 participants. PEP4U is now offering boxing circuit classes on Saturday and has also started a cycling class (Pedaling for PD). Additionally, PEP4U is exploring the possibility of offering a boxing class at the Newport Beach YMCA, as well as expanding classes at other YMCA facilities such as Fullerton.

Needless to say, expansion of services requires a substantial increase in donations. With that in mind, PEP4U is planning a 5th Anniversary Gala” on October 27, 2019, from 5-8 pm at the Laguna Niguel Crestavilla Residence in Laguna Niguel. Come on out and enjoy a sunset soiree with gourmet food, drinks and entertainment. Opportunities to support PEP4U through silent auction and underwriting will be featured along with live music and remarks from healthcare professionals, business and civic leaders. 


The Orange County Tremble Clefs continues to provide therapeutic singing to more than 60 people each week. The Tremble Clefs groups are open to everyone whether they have musical experience or not (or even talent).   Tremble Clefs is not only a therapeutic group but, by design, a support group.

Participation in Tremble Clefs can help people with PD fight depression and group singing gives the participant a better quality of life. This results in individual as well as group rewards.

The BIG NEWS for the OC Tremble Clefs is that our newest “North Coast Tremble Clefs” group launched on June 12 with 20 people at its first meeting!  We are still looking for a permanent “home” for this group.  However, we will continue to meet on a weekly basis. Check out our Facebook page, “The OC Tremble Clefs” or contact Karen Skipper, MT-BC, Tremble Clefs director, for information on where the meetings will be held.  And…please contact Karen if you have “contacts” in the area who might be willing to provide space for our weekly meetings.

The Orange County Tremble Clefs now meet in three three locations in Orange County.

Mondays (9:30-11:00 a.m.)  
Florence Sylvester Memorial Sr. Center
23721 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Woods, CA 92637

Thursdays (9:30-11:00 a.m.)
Emerald Court
1731 W. Medical Center Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92801

 **NEW-Wednesdays (3:45 – 4:45 p.m.) ** NEW North Coast Tremble Clefs in the Huntington Beach area

Location TBA

Participants in OCTC act as ambassadors to the community for successful living with Parkinson’s disease. As mentioned, Tremble Clefs “kicked off” the Parkinson’s Foundation “Moving Day” walk. OCTC has a very busy summer ahead with concerts planned in several locations.

The summer concert season will include a “Friends and Family” Concert at Laguna Country United Methodist Church in Laguna Woods, tentatively scheduled for August 10.  This is the 4th annual event and will feature great music by the Orange County Tremble Clefs, a raffle, and delicious refreshments.

Check out the OCTC Facebook page and website to stay “up to date” with what the group is doing. And, stay tuned… the “Orange County Tremble Clefs” will be featured in the PD Buzz in the next month or so.

Fighting Back,

Sam Torres, PhD. 
President, PAOC 
July, 2019

It has been several months since I have submitted a “message” and, as usual, the PAOC Board, as well as PEP4U, and Tremble Clefs, have all been very active.

Finally, after almost 5 years, PAOC’s pending embezzlement case against Judith Woodhouse has been resolved. Woodhouse was sentenced to 3 years formal probation, given credit for the 180 days served in county jail before she was able to make bail, and ordered to make full restitution, which she paid prior to sentencing. Although a larger sum was embezzled, a District Attorney’s forensic examination revealed that the amount of restitution due PAOC was $28,346, and this amount has been deposited into our account.

An additional sum of approximately $63,000 previously paid to the National Parkinson’s Foundation-Orange County Chapter (NPF-OCC) by the insurance carrier, was part of the restitution package. This amount has been sent to the insurance company in repayment.

The infusion of new funds into PAOC’s bank account now provides an opportunity for the association to explore additional programs and services that might be implemented to better serve the Parkinson’s Community. A Programs Committee has been formed and will be meeting shortly.

House of Power Christmas Boot Camp
In addition to the restitution amount received in December, our newest board member, Johnny Mercurio, held a “House of Power Christmas Boot Camp,” at his boxing gym in Westminster. The first two hours involved various exercise routines for PWP, while the next two hour involved athletes and other participants. Over $1000 was received in donations by participants which was then donated to PAOC. Furthermore, an article in the OC Register on January 6 featured Johnny’s work with a multiple sclerosis patient, as well as his boxing classes for PWP. The article, “MMA fighter teaches doctor with multiple sclerosis how to battle back,” generated additional donations to PAOC. We are happy to have Johnny on our Board of Directors and thank him for his commitment and hard work for PAOC.

Wahoo’s Fundraiser
Also, two of our other Board Members, Doug and Cristi Barber enlisted the support of Wahoo’s to generously support a one-day fundraiser in which 20% of the purchases were donated to PAOC. All OC Wahoo locations, with 4 exceptions, participated in the fundraising event. A PAOC flyer had to be submitted at the time of payment to be eligible for the 20% donation. PAOC expresses their gratitude to Mr. & Mrs. Barber for all their hard work in putting together this fundraiser.

One project under consideration by the Board of Directors is the development of a Parkinson’s Disease Information Speaker’s Committee to better inform the community about PD. In the coming months the board’s efforts will be on considering what additional services for PWP might be implemented. As usual, fundraising is always a high priority.

Tremble Clefs
Orange County Tremble Clefs experienced a very productive 2018. New members were added to both the North OC and South OC groups. TC performed concerts to small and large audiences throughout the year. TC had a very successful “Friends and Family” concert in August, raising over $5,000, and treating the South OC Community to a wonderful “Holiday Concert” with the music ministry at the Laguna United Methodist Church.

TC is most appreciative to Walmart Store #5687 in Irvine for a $1,000 grant. A public recognition event is being planned to thank “Walmart Giving” for their support.

The 2019 year also promises to be a very good and productive year for TC. Several new members have already been added to both groups that are preparing for the next concert series scheduled for March. A major project is the start of a 3rd TC in the North Coast area of OC. This new group is scheduled to start up in the Spring.

Please share the TC Program with others who might benefit from the therapeutic singing. The TC website is You can also follow TC on Facebook at The OC Tremble Clefs.

Tremble Clefs is a community of people with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners who have a desire to sing and explore the therapeutic value of music. New members are always welcome-and please note: one does NOT need to be a good singer.

Meeting locations/times are:

Florence Sylvester Memorial Sr. Center
23721 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Woods, CA 92637

Emerald Court
1731 W. Medical Center Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92801

On a final note, please be reminded that PAOC can benefit from the involvement of
more volunteers. Anyone wishing to contribute a bit of time or talent to the two
wonderful therapeutic programs it sponsors, come join us!

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