18 teams tee off for Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society fundraiser

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – Eighteen golf teams hit the course on Saturday for a good cause. The Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society raised money for the first time since COVID-19 canceled their events.

The organization took part in a golf tournament fundraiser at The Witch Golf Course to help raise money for families and people with Down syndrome on the Grand Strand.

“Anything that has involved our children has been canceled,” Tony Zito, Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society Marketing Director said.

The Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society helps provide medical supplies, education, and support programs for people with Down syndrome in Horry and Georgetown County. The volunteer group is among several organizations hit financially when forced to call off events during COVID-19.

The health concern for people with Down syndrome outweighs the pandemic-related financial loss.

“The president of our group, his son has had three heart surgeries so if he was out here today and got the virus it would kill him,” Zito said.

People with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome in their body leading to chances of developing a medical condition that puts them at risk for COVID-19. These fundraisers support the backbone of the organization and the people behind the cause.

And if you ask what this means to them…

“That’s a touchy question, it’s my life right now, I’d do this every day for them,” Zito said.

Every swing and dollar is helping to better the lives of Down syndrome families on the Grand Strand. It’s community donations that create the swimming programs and social groups like Carolina 3-2-1 that help open up opportunities for kids and adults with down syndrome to thrive.

“I have never seen parents that smile so much and the kids are happy,” another coordinator said.

Every donation transforms into greater opportunity, additional education, and awareness for Down syndrome families.

“If you’ve seen these kids the smiles and hugs I get, it’s precious,” Zito said.

The next Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society fundraiser is on Sunday, July 26th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Beaver Bar in Murrells Inlet. The car and bike show will feature a car wash and live entertainment.

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