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Teens walk from Coney Island to Montauk

Montauk Point Lighthouse shortly after sunrise Monday morning.

Montauk Point Lighthouse shortly after sunrise Monday morning. (June 21, 2010) Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Five college students from Manhasset are walking the length of the South Shore to raise funds for Parkinson’s disease research.

The teens began their Second Annual South Shore Walk for Parkinson’s Disease on Saturday at Coney Island and are scheduled to finish Sunday at Montauk Point Lighthouse.

It’s a longer and more ambitious trek than last year's, which they started farther east in Breezy Point in Queens and which took 10 days; this year they wanted to cover the entire South Shore in nine days.

Patrick Love, head of the team, organized the walk because his mother, Sima, has been battling Parkinson’s disease for 15 years.

“Thus far it’s going pretty well,” he said as they walked a mile east of the Jones Beach water tower early Monday afternoon. “No blisters or casualties so far. We’ve had really great weather.”

That contrasted with last year when they had to duck into the West Bathhouse at Jones Beach to escape a thunderstorm.

They started shorthanded because Christopher Jeffrey had been on vacation, but then met Love, Hayes Brown, Nicholas Fera and Joseph Nassirian — all 2010 graduates of either Manhasset or Chaminade high schools — on Sunday night.

Love said about $6,500 in donations has been pledged so far, about the same pace as last year. Their goal again is $25,000.

“My mother continues to prove to me how amazing of a woman she is -- a single mother who raised three sons while living with Parkinson’s disease,” Love said. “Throughout my whole life I have seen my mother struggle with the disease and persevere regardless of its weakening effects, so I decided it was time to give something back to her through support for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.”

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is an organization launched by the actor in 2000 that raises money for finding a cure and developing improved therapies for Parkinson's.

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