The SADS Foundation would like to highlight the volunteer fundraising events that have happened or will happen this summer and fall!  We are so grateful to all the volunteers who get together with their families and friends to organize special events to help other families with SADS conditions!!

First, we’d like to feature two of the longest-running events. 

The Weidler, O’donnell, and Speece families hosted the 18th Annual Ryan Weidler Memorial Golf Tournament on July 24th in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. It was a warm, sunny day, and the participants had a whole lot of fun. The SADS bracelets packaged with the warning signs and statistics were impactful, especially since the tournament was held the same day the news reported the collapse of LeBron James’ son Bronny on the basketball court. According to Carol Weidler, “It certainly made clear and relevant the importance of SADS objectives, advancements and vision as well as our desire to support them.”

This November, the neighbors on Matthew Lane in Carol Stream, Illinois, will be delivering and setting up trees Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 25th, for the 19th year of Brittany’s Trees. This event started with just a few trees with twinkle lights in the front yards of the neighbors of Brittany to remember this young and amazing girl who passed away at the age of eight. But this year will see more than 2,000 trees lit up in 23 different cities. Brittany’s Trees has come a long way!!

Next, we want to acknowledge four brand new events.

The Linett Family from Sandy, Utah, hosted a GoFundMe campaign in memory of their son Eric during the month of August allowing their friends and family to give a gift to the SADS Foundation so that we may continue our mission to support families and prevent young deaths. Eric passed away in March of this year and we appreciate all those who showed their love for Eric through their donations.

The Gonthier family held their first annual West Park Pub Crawl on September 30th in Roseville, California! It was a feel-good day of walking, jogging, skating, scootering, riding or even hover-boarding in the fresh air while enjoying great food, local craft brews, wine, and spirits. The West Park Pub Crawl bolstered local small businesses, raised awareness for Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and earned funds for the SADS Foundation to honor their daughter Karly who was diagnosed with CPVT after several misdiagnoses. Karly and her family are giving back to the SADS Foundation after we became their new source of truth and comfort.

The Andreozzi Family hosted a Run/Walk to Save a Life in Honor of Christopher Andreozzi on October 1st in Hamden, Connecticut. This first inaugural event had a wonderful response. Participants enjoyed a fun day in the outdoors and learned how to perform CPR and use an AED from health care workers who were on site. We look forward to next year’s Save a Life in Honor of Christopher Andreozzi.

The Kennedy Family hosted the first And the Beat Goes on Benefit Concert featuring North of Luck on October 14th in Cedar Park, Texas, to raise funds for the SADS Foundation and to celebrate the first anniversary of the amazing recovery of Matthew Kennedy. Three out of five family members have ARVC and Matthew survived a sudden cardiac arrest just a year ago. We are so happy that the Kennedy family is well and welcome the first of many benefit concerts to help us help other families also.

Finally, a special visit.

On the fourth weekend of September, our Development Director Jan Schiller had the opportunity to attend the 7th Annual Rachel’s Race for Long QT Syndrome in Memory of Rachel Lancour who passed away from the illness May 20th, 2015. The Race takes place at Skelley’s Farm Market in Janesville, Wisconsin on scenic country roads and comes complete with raffle baskets and silent auction items. Proceeds from the event will go to purchasing an AED to donate to a non-profit organization in Rock County as well as to the SADS Foundation for research specific to Long QT Syndrome.

Jan was deeply moved when she returned to Utah. “What an awesome event!” she reported, “As often as possible, SADS attends the special events that our families do to benefit us. The Lancour Family, who allowed me to stay in their home and help with the event, are truly one of the most gracious and giving families I’ve had the privilege to get to know. And the entire community that comes out to be a part of the event are warm, kind, and generous.”

“Family and friends put in a lot of work to prepare for the race including a very early Saturday morning. I don’t think most people including me are up before the sun rises. However, it is beautiful to watch the sunrise over rural Wisconsin with its cornfields and silos and then watch the runner/walkers line up and take off in the autumn air.”

“While the participants were out on the roads, I spoke with one of the volunteers, Lorrie, who attended the race from Chicago (about two hours away) each year. While speaking of other fundraising events SADS families hold, I told her about Brittany’s Trees in Carol Stream which is part of Chicagoland. And this is one of those small world moments…Lorrie’s brother who lives in Carol Stream buys one of Brittany’s Trees for his yard each year.”

We extend a huge THANK YOU to all our volunteer fundraising families for raising awareness about SADS and ARVC and raising funds for the SADS Foundation so that together, we continue to save young lives! 

For more information about holding a fundraising event yourself, reach out to jan@sads.org.