Local golfers getting into the swing of things

100-hole marathon to benefit kids with Autism

100 holes of golf

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - How many times do you actually swing during a golf round?

Now multiply that by five.

That'll be the deal on June 22nd, when they tee it up for a great cause at Elyria Country Club.

"100 holes of golf," Joe Pulizzi says. "It's a marathon charity event. One day. We're getting 30 crazy golfers together. 100 holes in 12 hours."

Pulizzi is co-founder of the Orange Effect Foundation, which provides speech therapy for kids with Autism. And this is personal for him.

His oldest son benefited greatly from early intervention.

"He got diagnosed when he was two years old," Pulizzi says. "And they basically said he's never going to 'regular' school, he might never be able to speak, and from that moment on we got him to aggressive speech and play therapy. By six years old, he was in 'regular' school. By eight years old, he didn't need a tutor anymore, and now this year he's going on to university in the Fall. Cyber security will be his major."

"These kids are being ignored," Mike Balzano, the Fundraising Chair of the foundation says. "When he (Joe) said that, it kind of struck a chord with me. That's one thing we need to keep focusing on, continue to raise funds for."

Like all foundations that rely on corporate sponsors during this tough time, they needed to get creative.

"I recall hearing about this idea," Balzano says, "and it's just crazy enough that it might work. A 100-hole marathon, and if you think about it, it just ties in perfectly with these times."

As in, two golfers ... in separate carts. Playing a scramble format, and limited to 7 minutes per hole.

It wasn't a tough sell.

"The goal was to raise $40,000, and we're already 75% of the way there," Pulizzi says.

Most sponsors are donating $1 per hole, or $100 total if their golfer completes the round. We know this: they'll have the time.

"We were trying to get to the longest day of the year, which I believe is June 26," Pulizzi says. "So June 22 is pretty darn close to that. We know that we have 12 hours of daylight to make this thing happen."

For more information on how to support this event or future fundraisers, go to theorangeeffect.org

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.