Good News: Tybee Kite Festival honors Alice Gerber

Good News: 7th Annual Tybee Island Kite Festival

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Saturday was a good day to fly a kite, which was a great way to help Parkinson’s patients.

The graceful movement above the beach Sunday was a tribute to those who struggle to move; the Tybee Island Kite Festival once again recognizing and raising money for Parkinson’s patients.

“The whole idea is, you get them out here, you get them to get a kite in the air, to have them fly a kite in their own honor or to have the loved ones of someone they have lost from a movement disorder come up and put a kite in the air to honor the person that they love,” said Sarah Bernzott, Tybee Island Kite Festival.

The 7th Annual Kite Festival was the biggest yet by turnout and because it was dedicated to the woman who put the air under the event. Alice Gerber has dedicated her life to Parkinson’s research since her late husband Marx was diagnosed 20 years ago.

“I took him wherever I heard about something. We went all over the world looking for something to help him,” Gerber said.

Ms. Gerber did just as much at home. She earned two doctorate degrees at the age of 75, started the Savannah Parkinson’s Support Group, started the kite festival, and has once again returned to school to study the disorder.

“They don’t have a program at Southern in medicine, but they took the head of the nursing department and put her in charge of me and she’s been working with me on anything I want to do,” Gerber said.

In addition to proceeds from the kite festival, she sells her paintings and handmade jewelry to raise money for the support group, which helps supplement Michael Cohen’s Get Excitement and Move Parkinson’s Program at the Anderson-Cohen Weightlifting Center.

“It just makes me cry because it’s so impressive to see these folks doing that,” she said.

Just as it is impressive to see Alice Gerber’s work for Parkinson’s research continue to take flight.

“It’s really amazing to see the community, to see the way people respond to those who are ill, to see the way spouses respond to each other,” she said.

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