The Medina Rotary Club Benefit Golf Outing Sept. 17 at Westfield Group Country Club was dedicated to all those whose lives have been affected by Lou Gehrigâ€™s Disease (ALS).
Although Rotary is known for its active role in community endeavors, its involvement in this fund raiser was prompted by more of a personal nature. Most recently, the group lost two of its own to ALS, Mark Sutherland and Carolyn Laykun.
Amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. About 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year.
Rotary member Dale Laykun spearheaded the project as a Platinum Level Sponsor ($5,000), in memory of his wife Carolyn.
About one year ago, she joined him, her daughters and grandsons as a participant in one of three ALS walks in the Greater Cleveland area, at the Tri-C West Campus. Although the downward progression of her condition confined her to a wheelchair and limited her to the use of her hands only, she still communicated in writing. However, her decline was rapid and she lost the fight to the disease not long after that.
Others in the Rotary Club, as well as the community at large, showed tremendous support for this fund raising event. Medina General Hospital was a Silver Level Sponsor ($1,500), and Jeandrevin and Parker and Westfield Insurance were Bronze Level Sponsors ($750). Beverage Station Sponsors ($300) were Lance and Company Insurance Agency LLC, Hudson and Keyse LLC, and Judy Sutherland, in memory of her husband Mark Sutherland. Hole in One Sponsor ($100) was Pat Oâ€™Brien Chevrolet.
Television and radio celebrity/weatherman Brad Sussman was at Westfield the day of the outing, and a perfect day it was. Everyone happily credited him for producing a gorgeous fall day for such a worthwhile cause.
Sussman lost a close relative to ALS, which contributed to his becoming involved with the association about 10 years ago. He is a board member for the Northern Ohio Chapter, which stretches east to west between the borders of Pennsylvania and Indiana, and south to Mansfield. It is an educational and reference agency that offers support groups to both patients and caregivers, lends medical equipment such as scooters, breathing machines and talking machines, and educates on many things including safety procedures. The agency has been funded through local, all private donations only.
Sussman said people do not die of ALS, they die of respiratory failure. The disease has been especially hard to track because it is not part of the registry of diseases, therefore determining causes or hereditary links is frustrating, to say the least. Like most degenerative conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Huntingtonâ€™s Disease, ALS is an extremely difficult disease to diagnose; because of its unusual symptoms, it often becomes a last diagnosis when everything else has been eliminated.
Laykun, his daughter Tam Lauschin, who was responsible for putting together the brochures, and Rotary Club member Linda Radencic guided the efforts to make the outing a success. They were assisted by the members of Medina Rotary who offered help in every way possible. Some of those manning the registration table, or performing other tasks on the grounds of the golf course were Carole and Brian Feron, Ken Tender, John Sobotincic, Pam Voss, and Jim Beckman and Audrey Howard (who also lost her husband to ALS) who were very instrumental in getting items for the Chinese auction baskets and the live auction.
All auction items were donated by the following: Carl and Sherry Abell, Barco and Sons, Boyertâ€™s Greenhouse, Buehlerâ€™s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Bar, Cantina Per Vini, Pia Robson of Contemporary Photography Studio, Corsoâ€™s Liberty Gardens, Pat Norton of Harley Davidson, Audrey Howard, Sue Kozak, Bill, Jane and David Eyssen of Mapleside Farms, Mike Morse of Medina Auto Parts, Wilma Pince, Jim Beckman, Laura and Jack of Ridge Top Golf Course, Santo Suossoâ€™s, Dorothy Sawicki, Don Spickler, John of The Oaks, Thyme, Wine Reserve, Darryl Latham of Westfield Golf Course, and Arno of Yours Truly.
Among the golfers were Pat Norris, Aaron and Heather Funk, Phil and Luke Vitanza, Gary Brownell, Terry Blascak Mitch Pasquerella, Jon Park, David, Del and Vaughn Lekan, Rob Mitchell, Mike Hargrove, Jake and Curt Studor, Ben Hallock, Kevin Wermer, Dale Rabung, John Jeandrevin, John and Sonny Kanieski, Robert Yerke, Dick Chestnutwood, Ron Quine, Ted Sims, Ed Hiteshue, and several members from the Strongsville Rotary including George Tomko, Kip Kipinger, Rob Kammer and Tom Oriti.
Hole Sponsors were Bob Evans Farms; Trillium Creek; Dr. Thomas Ebner, in memory of Joyce Ebner; Next Home Inc.; Joan McCourt; Dr. Bodnar of Medina Eye; Family Medicine Associates of Medina Inc.; Marino and Associates; Susan Kozak of Edward Jones; Carole and Brian Feron; Discount Drug Mart; Tracy Paquette, in memory of her father Doug Howard; Carey and Steven Paquette, in memory of their father Doug Howard; the children of Carey and Steven Paquette, in memory of their grandfather Doug Howard; Walter and Lois Anderson, in memory of Doug Howard; Gary and Karen Brownell, in memory of sister-in-law Carolyn Laykun; Aluminum and Zinc Metal Sales, in memory of Carolyn Laykun and Clary Timmerman; Linda and Frank Schwan, in memory of Clarence Timmerman; Kim, Mike and Lauren VanTuyl, in memory of their mom and grandmother Carolyn Laykun; Innovations at the Barber of Seville; Sunrise II Sportfishing, www.salmonfishin.com; Carpenters Local No. 21; Kramer and Goyette DDS; Megan Winchester, in memory of her husband John; Tam, Matt and Josh Lauschin, in memory of their mom and grandmother Carolyn Laykun; Dale Laykun, in memory of his beloved wife Carolyn; Ken and Ruth Etta Tender; Waldheger Coyne, A Legal Professional Association; The Gazette; FM Systems; Minuteman Press; Rustic Hills Country Club; Robert and Judy Corwin, in memory of Carolyn Laykun; Jean Peterson, in memory of her husband M.J. Peterson; Western Reserve Bank; Saturday Breakfast Group, in memory of Carolyn Laykun; Daleâ€™s Golf Group, in memory of Carolyn Laykun; American Trends Inc. of Columbus; Waite and Son Funeral Home; Audrey Howard, in memory of Doug Howard; Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar; Walter (Andy) Anderson, in memory of Doug Howard; Aris Franklin M.D.; Fred Patricia Suppes, in memory of Doug Howard; John and Mary Long; and The Hoffman Group.
In a field of 71 golfers, the winners of the Scramble were in the group including Pat Norris, A.J. Mirabidini and Ron Quine. There actually were two holes-in-one, one by Mirabidini on the ninth hole and the other by Richard Berardinelli on the 14th hole. Unfortunately, neither was on the car hole.
Dale Laykun was the winner of the 50/50 raffle, but he donated the $350 back to ALS. The event raised in excess of $12,000.
Huston may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.