Avid golf enthusiasts and individuals who care deeply about GiGi's Playhouse programs and mission teed up for charity Aug. 13. The GiGi's Playhouse National Achievement Center first golf outing took place at The Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club in Hoffman Estates.
A beautiful and sunny day began with registration and a putting contest with GiGi's very own Special Olympic Silver Medalist Matthew Kaman. Kaman successfully out-putted most of his competition and raised money for GiGi's Playhouse in the process.
At 10 a.m. Nancy, Paul and GiGi Gianni, surrounded by Hugs + Mugs interns, thanked the golfers for making a difference in the lives of kids and adults with Down syndrome and then sent the golfers off with a shotgun start. The Hugs+Mugs interns visited with foursomes throughout the day and Kaman was industrious offering some impromptu golf challenges.
A special thank you to the women golfers who volunteered their time with various golfing competitions throughout the day to help raise money for GiGi's Playhouse. They are Jacki Berardi from Dayton, Nicole Feierberg from Lehigh University and Tina Berardi from Denison.
Perhaps the most inspiring moment of the day was the speech delivered during dinner. GiGi's was pleased to feature one of its current GiGi University students, Aubrey Soukup. Soukup shared how much she has grown over the past few months and the confidence she has gained since starting GiGi U this summer. Soukup, Kaman and the other interns were oozing self-confidence all day long -- and she communicated it beautifully.
"We were blessed by the generosity and support of our sponsors, volunteers, players, and spectators who help make this event a success, and to the entire GiGi's team who create a fun and meaningful experience for the golfers." says Paul Gianni, chairman of GiGi's Playhouse Inc. "Proceeds from this event will provide important funding for GiGi's Playhouse."
A special thank you to sponsors, including Hilton Chicago, Alexian Brothers Women & Children's Hospital, Comprehensive Marketing and Industrial Source Inc. All of the sponsors helped ensure that this event was a big success. GiGi's Playhouse celebrates the many achievements of individuals and their families, develops new programs to benefit its participants, and works tirelessly to change society's outdated perceptions about the amazing potential of individuals with Down syndrome.
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