SUMMIT, N.J., May 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Kicking off Lupus Awareness Month, former Super Bowl Champion and Mad Dog Sports radio personality Willie Colon hosted today the 8th Annual Willie Colon Golf Outing crafted by Tito’s Handmade Vodka for the Lupus Research Alliance (LRA). Mr. Colon is an active member of the Lupus Research Alliance Board of Directors, as is fellow attendee and LRA supporter Julius Williams. Held at the New Jersey’s Canoe Brook Country Club, the outing benefitted the Jean Davis Research Grant in loving memory of Willie’s late mother Jean Davis, who had lupus.
“I cannot think of a better way to honor my mom’s memory than to support research to deliver a future without lupus.”
In keeping with LRA’s new campaign, ManyOne Can Make a Difference, Mr. Colon engaged a large group of sports super-stars and over 250 golfers to take a swing at raising funds to support research that will help combat this rough complex disease. Special guests in attendance included: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (currently with the Washington Commanders); linebackers James Farrior (formerly with the Jets and Steelers) and David Harris (formerly with the Jets); defensive end Jason Hatcher (formerly with the Commanders and Cowboys); quarterback Matt Simms (formerly with the Jets); defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons (currently with the Titans); tackle Max Starks (formerly with the Steelers and Rams); center Nick Mangold (formerly with the Jets); wide receiver Brandon Marshall (formerly with the Broncos, Dolphins, Bears, Jets, Giants and Seahawks); and NBA shooting guards Allan Houston (formerly with the Knicks) and John Starks (formerly with the Jazz, Warriors, Bulls and Knicks). Damien Woody (formerly with the Patriots, Lions and Jets), is also planning to attend the second half of the event in support of his wife who has been diagnosed with lupus.
“When my mom was first diagnosed with lupus, it was a disease very much in the dark and no one knew much about it,” noted Colon. “My mom never put her illness, no matter what she was suffering, above our development as rough and tumble kids. I cannot think of a better way to honor her memory than to make possible the caliber of research that will afford future generations’ lives without lupus.”
The sold-out event raised nearly $350,000 to benefit the Jean Davis Research Grant, which is on course to exceed the $3M mark in total funds raised since its inception, by the end of this year. Of every dollar raised, 100% goes to enabling the world’s top scientists to pursue innovative research studies.
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women; lupus most often strikes during the childbearing years of 15-45. African Americans, Latinx, Asians and Native Americans are two to three times at greater risk than Caucasians. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that can attack any part of the body including the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.
About the Lupus Research Alliance
The Lupus Research Alliance is the largest non-governmental, non-profit funder of lupus research worldwide. The organization aims to transform treatment by funding the most innovative lupus research, fostering diverse scientific talent, and driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus. Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors funds all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.