Golfers rally to fight CF; bring Eli & Cailyn together

FRIENDSHIP GROWS...AT A DISTANCE — Someday, friends Eli Rogers (left) and Cailyn Fowler will be able to close the physical gap between them if a cure for Cystic Fibrosis is developed. Individuals with CF should not be within three feet of each other due to the passing of harmful bacteria.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide).

More awareness about its affects on people we know and love in our own local region is important. Finding a cure for cystic fibrosis is so important to many individuals and their families. A cure is coming.

Cailyn Fowler is a wonderful 16-year-old young lady from Paris, who when she walks into a room, simply radiates. She continues to fight CF with the fierceness of a gladiator. She struggles a bit without question, but you just don’t know it when you are around her.

Eli Rogers, is a brave 7-year-old from Raymond, who perseveres with the vigilant preventative treatments this disease requires.

Eli just met Cailyn this past May and continues to be a bit shy around her. He has learned from an early age the restrictions required to stay away from others who have CF. What is not always known outside the CF community is that individuals with CF should not be within three feet of each other due to the passing of harmful bacteria.

The Rogers’ and Fowler families can see that the two kids are drawn to each other. They so want to be close to one another. Cailyn, on more than one occasion, has said or written that it would be nice to just give Eli a hug, but they can’t.

The Golfing for Eli and Cailyn event that was held at the Naples Golf and Country Club on July 16 was a huge success. All proceeds from this event benefit all who suffer from cystic fibrosis, like Eli and Cailyn. This year’s event brought in almost $28,000! This money goes directly to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where 90 cents of every dollar goes toward the science in finding a cure.

The tournament and festivities attracted close to 225 people who joined the Rogers family throughout the beautiful day, to golf, support auctions, listen to the wonderful entertainment of Kids at Play and to just visit.

“In our six years of holding this event, we are closing in on the $100,000 mark to helping find a cure to CF,” the Rogers said. “We can’t be any more proud and honored by all the people who continuously come out to support us in helping our kids and all people afflicted with the disease fight cystic fibrosis. The words ‘thank you’ do not seem enough, but we need to thank so many people.

PLENTY TO SMILE ABOUT — With over 200 people in attendance, this year’s Golfing for Eli & Cailyn fundraiser was extremely successful. Pictured here, the Rogers family of Raymond — left, Gwen, age 5, Darrin, Jennifer and Eli, 7.

“First of all, thank you Norway Savings Bank for stepping up and becoming the very first Title sponsor. Thank you to all of our platinum, and gold sponsors and benefactors. Thank you to all the volunteers who showed up to work. Thank you Black Bear Café for selling raffle tickets before the event and for providing one of our hole-in-one prizes. Thank you Long Lake Marina for donating a beautiful Jet Ski as a hole-in-one prize. Thank you Factory Five for bringing the gorgeous Shelby Cobra replicas as another hole-in-one prize. Thank you to all the local businesses who donated items to our auctions. Thank you to Chris Grant of Grant Auctions for donating his time and expertise in our live auction. Thank you to Gazebo Tees for your wonderful printing that you gave us for free. Thank you Cindy, Coleen, Greg and Paul for all of the hours of work and planning leading up to the event — we love you guys.

“Lastly, a huge ‘thank you’ goes out to all the folks at the Naples Golf and Country Club. Bobby Caron, Ellen Dore, and Dick Dyke came through for us at every turn.

“We would suggest anyone planning an event, to without question, consider these folks,” the Rogers said. “As time passes and we decompress from this event, it is often we get goose bumps over the thoughts of pride of the friends, family and community that we are surrounded with. This event, in our relatively small community, is doing tremendous things to help fight the battle of finding a cure to CF. We are looking forward to next year already.”

Please save the date: next year’s Golfing for Eli and Cailyn will be held on July 21, 2012. Please also save your pennies for the science to find a cure. In our lifetime, we will see Eli and Cailyn have that hug they so deserve. Thank you all, again.

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