Brent Peterson was zipping around the room in his newly tailored suit, making sure all of the finishing touches were squared away before the big event; seven years later and his excitement and anticipation before Petey's Preds Party is as strong and contagious as the first one.
One would never know he's been struggling with Parkinson's Disease for more than a decade by the pep in his step and glimmer in his eyes as he saw friends, new and old, pass through the Bridgestone Arena doors Monday evening.
"I've been the most active about not being a shut-in," Peterson, who is the chairman of Peterson for Parkinson's, said, referencing the stereotype surrounded by those consumed by the disease. "The most outstanding thing is this year I finally reached the Parkinson's community."
This past year, Peterson for Parkinson's recently took on the APDA Middle TN Chapter, supporting an exercise program along with other outreach activities like Rock Steady Boxing as a way to continue reaching the local Parkinson's community, an integral step Peterson was grateful to have finally reached.
In an effort to continue interacting with those affected by Parkinson's, this year's event focused heavily on Peterson's personal journey and his battle with the disease. Former Preds player Vernon Fiddler spoke about the influence the former associate coach had on his personal and professional life. Peterson's wife, Tami, also shared their love story for the ages.
Although never a huge fan of being the face of his own event, it would be hard to argue with his very own logic.
"It's about connecting with a person, not just the disease," Peterson said.
Year after year, Peterson and his team of family, friends and coworkers work tirelessly to bring that statement to life, hitting the mark and continuing to raise more money than the previous event.
Due to Hurricane Irma affecting weather in Middle Tennessee, the accompanying Brent Peterson Golf Classic had to be rescheduled for a later date, but Peterson and his team of supporters and golf classic participants knew a little rain couldn't bring them down.
"Anyone is in high spirits when it comes to the Predators after the way we ended last year," Peterson said. "I can't wait to see what happens next."