Vanessa Williams, Rasheda Ali Walsh, Shelby Hall and Dr. Deanna Brown Thomas Support Parkinson’s at Reno’s National Automobile Museum


Globally renowned singer/actress and producer (and car girl at heart!) Vanessa Williams will be moderating a very special “Conversations for a Cause®” live discussion during non-profit Drive Toward a Cure®’s evening of ‘Music & Motion’ on April 18th at the National Automobile Museum in Reno to support the Parkinson Support Center of Northern Nevada.

Known equally as an actress/author AND the daughter of Muhammad Ali, Rasheda Ali is also an advocate for Parkinson’s disease and will be joining Drive Toward a Cure®’s evening of ‘Music & Motion’ to share her passion for her family as well as her father’s passion beyond boxing – cars!

Dr. Deanna Brown Thomas, daughter of the legendary ‘Godfather of Soul’ will be among other women of influence to share the stage and support Parkinson’s during the Drive Toward a Cure®’ evening of ‘Music & Motion’ – her memories include both his music and car collection passion, which she’ll share first-hand on April 18th at the National Automobile Museum.

Growing up in Reno, Shelby Hall not only built off-road vehicles with her grandfather, off-road pioneer and Hall of Fame inductee Rod Hall, but she’s now channeling his spirit of adventure through her own Trail programs, including those that support Parkinson’s. She’ll be joining the April 18th “Conversations for a Cause®” live discussion during non-profit Drive Toward a Cure®’s evening of ‘Music & Motion’ on April 18th at the National Automobile Museum.

John Oates may be half of one of the most successful rock duos of all time (Hall and Oates), but he’s also a full-time car enthusiast and humanitarian – he’s donated this original hand-signed Taylor acoustic guitar to the silent auction to be held during non-profit Drive Toward a Cure®’s evening of ‘Music & Motion’ on April 18th at the National Automobile Museum in Reno to support the Parkinson Support Center of Northern Nevada.

Nick Mason, is more than the founding member and drummer of Pink Floyd – he’s a car collector (and racer) extraordinaire including Ferrari’s Jags and historic Bugatti’s and has generously hand-signed and donated a pair of drumsticks and his Limited Edition book, ‘Inside Out’, (the definitive history of progressive rock band Pink Floyd) to the silent auction for Drive Toward a Cure®’s evening of ‘Music & Motion’ on April 18th to support Parkinson’s.

RENO, NevadaMarch 21, 2024 – The legacies of some of the best known talents in their respective fields include the daughters of heavyweight champion boxer Muhammad Ali and the legendary ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown, and the granddaughter of off-road racing pioneer Rod Hall. All three will join together at Reno’s National Automobile Museum on April 18th for ‘An Evening of Music & Motion’ to bring awareness to Parkinson’s disease and raise funds to benefit the Parkinson’s Support Center of Northern Nevada. Proceeds from the evening will provide resources and support for the more than 5,000 individuals living with Parkinson’s disease in the High Sierra community. The very special evening is hosted by national non-profit foundation Drive Toward a Cure®, the philanthropic organization which has opened channels through the automotive community at large to enrich the lives of those living with the chronic disease and fund patient care initiatives where fundraising endeavors are held.

While the upcoming benefit will include full access to the entire 100,000+ sq ft Museum, a highlight for the evening is sure to be a roundtable discussion entitled ‘Conversations for a Cause’ to be moderated by singer, actress, and producer Vanessa Williams, with an open dialog among actress and author, Rasheda Ali Walsh; off-road racer and adventure creator, Shelby Hall; and humanitarian, actress and author, Dr. Deanna Brown Thomas. All four will be sharing the stage to reveal their own personal experiences being raised among cultural legends, and their passions within their community.

According to Deb Pollack, founder of Drive Toward a Cure, the ‘Music & Motion’ event will share in the love of the automobile, along with the bond of Cars and Camaraderie® — often aligned with the nostalgia music provides. “But it’s really the ‘motion’ that brings us together – because motion is more than transportation – it’s also about ‘mobility’, which we typically take for granted but is one of the devastating effects of Parkinson’s disease.”

Pollack notes that the evening will not only highlight cars once belonging to musical artists, but also offer silent auction items that include experiences and autographed memorabilia like a Taylor acoustic guitar signed by John Oates – half of the most successful rock duo of all time, Hall & Oates, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and car collector – plus as a pair of drumsticks and Limited Edition book, ‘Inside Out’, (the definitive history of progressive rock band Pink Floyd), written and hand-signed by Nick Mason, a founding member and drummer of Pink Floyd. There’s also a package donated by legendary songstress Vanessa Williams that will include a 15-minute one-on-one Zoom conversation, along with original scripts from the Emmy and Golden Globe winning drama series ‘Ugly Betty.’

On the ‘motion’ side, one particularly special experience that will be up for auction is a private tour of one of the world’s great Porsche ‘Garajmahal’ collections – that of Reno’s Ranson Webster. Webster’s outstanding assemblage includes more than 50 Porsche models of historic significance from 1949-1996.

Additional items available for bidding will include on-track experiences, original artwork by automotive fine artists including Kelly Telfer and Lyn Hiner, event tickets for the Golden Knights, Reno Philharmonic, and getaways from the Edgewood Tahoe Resort and the Renaissance Hotel and Spa, with numerous others available on site and all with proceeds supporting Parkinson’s.

Tickets for the evening are still available and include both VIP and General Admission packages, for attendees to enjoy full access to the museum, live music, food stations, wine tasting by Adobe Road Winery, and signature drinks compliments of House of Carbonadi and Gläce Luxury Ice. For more information and to purchase tickets please view:


About Drive Toward a Cure:

National non-profit Foundation Drive Toward a Cure raises funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research AND patient care by expanding our message throughout the automotive community at large. Inspired by the camaraderie found within the car culture, the organization’s mission benefits equally from both enthusiast communities and industry professionals. Drive Toward a Cure events harness enthusiasm for cars and driving and turn that power into support for ongoing work to improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s, as well as the research that will hopefully one day lead to a cure. Since 2016, Drive Toward a Cure has raised more than one million dollars to support BOTH research AND patient care.

Drive Toward a Cure is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation supporting beneficiaries including The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Parkinson’s Foundation, and numerous regional Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s. Grants are provided through Drive Toward a Cure’s ‘Access to Care’ and ‘Special Assistance’ grant funds, created to support challenged individuals and specific directive programs. For donations, sponsorship and event registration please view

About Parkinson Support Center of Northern Nevada:

The Parkinson Support Center of Northern Nevada (PSCNN) is a 501.c.3 nonprofit organization founded in 2021, during the peak of the Covid19 pandemic, and is dedicated to helping the over 5,000 patients and their families affected by Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in northern Nevada.
PSCNN exists so no one has to face Parkinson’s alone, providing support for those affected by Parkinson’s, creating opportunities for the local Parkinson community to engage and connect, and providing information to the public to raise awareness of the disease. The Goal is to connect people to the information, support services, programs, and activities they need to enhance wellness and live an active, engaged life.

PSCNN is a 100% volunteer organization and is the only organization in the region serving the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community. It was created with the vision of meeting the needs of PD population by leveraging volunteer passion to provide wrap-around services so that the Parkinson’s community can feel embraced and supported. The Board is led by Chair Dr. Mindy Lokshin, a family physician with multiple family members with PD, who has now dedicated her career to helping people with PD. The Vice Chair is Nicole Mueller who previously was the coordinator for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA) Information and Resource Center in Reno. All remaining Board members either have PD themselves or have a loved one with the disease. It is a 100% giving Board of passionate advocates.

The Parkinson Support Center of Northern Nevada (PSCNN) is the only organization serving this population in the Sierra region. PSCNN is an all-volunteer nonprofit that provides support programs, education and advocacy. You can learn more at

About Parkinson’s Disease:

Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. The degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells can cause abnormal brain activity, leading to tremors, stiffness, rigidity, and impaired movement, as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 90,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

Young-onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) occurs in people younger than 50 years of age, and affects about four percent of the nearly one million people with Parkinson’s in the U.S. (Current estimates are that about 2 percent of the 1 million people with Parkinson’s in the U.S. were diagnosed earlier than age 40). While symptoms are similar to late onset Parkinson’s, YOPD individuals often face challenges at a financial, family and employment level, making focusing on their own wellness and care more difficult.

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