Rain can’t keep away golfers

Abilis Executive Director Lolli Ross welcomes golfers to the tournament. Pouring rain curtailed the activities but not the desire to help out Abilis. — Chris Herder Photography photo

Abilis Executive Director Lolli Ross welcomes golfers to the tournament. Pouring rain curtailed the activities but not the desire to help out Abilis.
— Chris Herder Photography photo

Rain didn’t scare away participants in the first Golf for Abilis tournament last October and there were just as many brave souls withstanding the weather at the second tournament on June 10.

The June event, a fund-raiser benefiting Abilis and people of all ages in the Greenwich-Stamford area with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities, was home to steady precipitation at Trump National Golf Club, but most foursomes finished the 18-hole course brimming with enthusiasm, organizers said.

Music therapist Billy Ayres and local musicians with developmental disabilities provided live entertainment for the evening, which also included dinner and live and silent auctions. Auction highlights included a week-long golf vacation at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, a golf weekend for eight at the famed Old Chatham Golf Course in North Carolina, golf at the top clubs throughout the region and premier Giants football tickets.

“If it poured outside — and it did — you’d never know it from our guests’ reaction,” said host Fred Trump, a Greenwich resident. “They couldn’t have been more impressed with the work Abilis is doing with local people right here in our community, or more supportive of the goal of independence for those Abilis serves. From start to finish, it was a great party and a celebration of great work.”

Proceeds will help fund therapy and other services for babies and toddlers with delays in their development and assist Abilis as it expands its residential and employment programs for adults in the Greenwich-Stamford area.

“Golf for Abilis supports Abilis’ mission of building able lives and strong communities across lower Fairfield County,” said Lolli Ross, Abilis’ executive director. “We are excited and gratified by its growth, and very grateful to our wonderful host, Fred Trump.”

Participation and proceeds from this event doubled in less than eight months.

Sign-up closed to golfers approximately six weeks before the second annual Golf for Abilis, when registration reached capacity.

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