Moments of Victory®: The Tour de Victory Inspires Ellen Nordberg to Raise Money for Parkinson’s

Ellen Norberg and Kevin Kwok participate in Tour de Victory for Parkinson's

Meet Ellen Nordberg

In this Moment of Victory®, Ellen Nordberg shares how the Tour de Victory helped her use her bike for good and fundraise for the Foundation. She has been involved in the Parkinson’s community for years by riding with Team DPF and teaching Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes. After her father’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s, Ellen was more determined than ever to help the community. Ellen leads classes, heads teams for Tour de Victory, and ensures she can raise as much money as possible to help people with Parkinson’s live well today.

What was your first team dpf event?

Ellen Nordberg, wearing a black helmet, red bike jacket, and bright yellow over jacket, smiles with her teeth next to Tom Palizzi who is wearing a Team DPF hat, a orange biking jacket, and a blue DPF bike jersey.

I joined Team DPF when I decided to create a team for Tour de Victory. The Tour de Victory Cycling Challenge is a non-competitive fundraising event that brings people together from all over the country for a fun day of riding, music, and sharing victories.

Why did you decide to participate in the tour de victory?

I was introduced to the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2019 when I started teaching Pedaling For Parkinson’s classes in Boulder. There, I quickly fell in love with the community and committed to raising money to help improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. I’ve ridden Tour de Victory three times and the Copper Triangle twice for the Foundation. In November 2022, my dad was diagnosed with Parkinsonian tremors, so when I was asked to captain a team for Tour de Victory, I was happy to step up.

I recruited 30 people from my other cycle classes (plus my husband and a friend who flew in from Chicago), most of whom had never heard of Tour de Victory. All my riders had a blast and vowed to join again next year. Almost everyone who signed up to ride on our team told me they knew someone affected by Parkinson’s and were happy to help raise awareness for the Foundation. Davis Phinney has been a member of my Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes, and his leadership, insight, and humor have motivated me to get involved with the Foundation every chance I get.

A team of bikers stands together, smiling. They are wearing shorts, neon colors, and helmets.

Share a favorite memory from the tour de victory.

In prior years, I rode and visited with many members of my Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes during the ride. This year, due to smoke/air quality and potential rain, very few folks from our community were able to come outside. So, the three people I did see from our classes throughout the course and at the finish line made my day! Also, I loved taking the group photo of our team and celebrating with them after the race.

What challenges did you face when fundraising?

I take a lot of pictures at the events and in my Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes and use them to tell stories in my fundraising emails. That practice has served me well, and a lot of donations come from those emails. I was psyched to recruit so many riders for my team this year, but I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t convince more of them to fundraise. Many of the team members made personal donations but didn’t fundraise otherwise. Now that they understand the event and know more about the Foundation, they may fundraise next year.

What are the top three actions that helped you reach your fundraising goal?

Polly Dawkins and Ellen Nordland stand next to each other. Ellen is taking the selfie. Polly is wearing a blue quarter zip. Her hair, honey brown, is shoulder-length and straight. Ellen is wearing a black helmet, a neon yellow overcoat, and an orange bike jersey.

  1. I crafted an interesting and compelling story in an email with photos of my classes and a story about my dad’s diagnosis.
  2. I followed up with people who had committed to donate but had yet to.
  3. I asked some of my long-time supporters to increase their donations if possible.
  4. I continued posting on Facebook that I was close to my goal and asked if anyone would help push me over. That works every year!

What advice or encouragement would you give someone interested in fundraising for the Davis Phinney Foundation?

Everyone has someone in their life who has been affected by Parkinson’s. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family, and co-workers. Draft a fun email/letter and get personal and vulnerable about why this cause matters to you. Don’t hesitate to follow up or send a reminder. People are busy and often intend to return to your request but forget. If you post on social media, be specific and use personal photos if you have them.


Your story, like Ellen’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences. 

Submit Your Team DPF Moments of Victory® Story now 

If you’re not yet part of Team DPF, but you’d like to join us in raising money to help people live well with Parkinson’s today, contact our team to get started.  

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