Golf tournament draws attention to rare genetic disorder

By Samie Gebers

Last update: Sunday, March 12th, 2017

It was a sunny morning for the golfers supporting Prader-Wili syndrome on Sunday.

The Prader-Willi California Foundation held its first golf tournament in the area to raise funds and awareness to the rare genetic disorder.

“The most salient features of the syndrome is an insatiable drive to eat,” said Lisa Graziano, executive director of the foundation.

“No matter how much food is eaten, there is not a feeling of fullness,”

On top of an ongoing appetite, impairments in motor coordination and developmental disabilities accompany the disease as well.

“We want people realize that we have families here in Santa Clarita that have this syndrome and this challenge in their daily lives,” said Rodney Dong, one of the tournament hosts and a board member with the foundation.

Dong’s son has the rare, genetic disorder that is diagnosed to approximately one in every 15,000 people.

Craig “Buck” Geyer practices his swing during the 2017 PWCF Charity Golf Tournament at Robinson Ranch Golf Club. Samie Gebers/The Signal

“(The syndrome) is something that impacts their entire lives,” Dong said. “It’s something that we’re trying to raise more awareness on.”

Money for the non-profit was raised through golfer registration and other sponsors to fund foundation operations such as research support and education.

“It is something we want to support in our community and we’re out here to have a good day,” said golfer and nurse Dustin Ashenfelter.

“It focuses on the foundation and raising money for causes that are important for us, especially being in the medical field.”

“We’re trying to create a great experience for people around a good cause,” said Dong.

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Golf tournament draws attention to rare genetic disorder

A group of golfers supporting the Prader-Willi California Foundation and their Golf Tournament participate in a game at the Robinson Ranch Golf Club on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

It was a sunny morning for the golfers supporting Prader-Wili syndrome on Sunday.

The Prader-Willi California Foundation held its first golf tournament in the area to raise funds and awareness to the rare genetic disorder.

“The most salient features of the syndrome is an insatiable drive to eat,” said Lisa Graziano, executive director of the foundation.

“No matter how much food is eaten, there is not a feeling of fullness,”

On top of an ongoing appetite, impairments in motor coordination and developmental disabilities accompany the disease as well.

“We want people realize that we have families here in Santa Clarita that have this syndrome and this challenge in their daily lives,” said Rodney Dong, one of the tournament hosts and a board member with the foundation.

Dong’s son has the rare, genetic disorder that is diagnosed to approximately one in every 15,000 people.

Craig “Buck” Geyer practices his swing during the 2017 PWCF Charity Golf Tournament at Robinson Ranch Golf Club. Samie Gebers/The Signal

“(The syndrome) is something that impacts their entire lives,” Dong said. “It’s something that we’re trying to raise more awareness on.”

Money for the non-profit was raised through golfer registration and other sponsors to fund foundation operations such as research support and education.

“It is something we want to support in our community and we’re out here to have a good day,” said golfer and nurse Dustin Ashenfelter.

“It focuses on the foundation and raising money for causes that are important for us, especially being in the medical field.”

“We’re trying to create a great experience for people around a good cause,” said Dong.

About the author

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers is currently studying broadcast journalism at College of the Canyons. She reports on the weekends as well as produces video content during the week.

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers is currently studying broadcast journalism at College of the Canyons. She reports on the weekends as well as produces video content during the week.