7th Annual C.A.T.C.H. Foundation weekend
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando Hudson’s 7th Annual C.A.T.C.H. Foundation Charity Weekend was a success once again, as funds raised for the children with autism of the Pee Dee area. Hudson was joined by his good friend, Anquan Boldin, wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers- who in addition to being a great football player, is a professional bowler.
The fun-filled weekend events included the Second Time Around Adult Prom on Friday night at the Darlington Country Club; the Strike Out! Autism Bowling Fundraiser Saturday night at the Southgate Bowling Center in Florence; and the Crossover Charity Basketball Game Sunday at the Darlington High School Gymnasium.
Helping children with autism learn and achieve their full potential has been a goal of Hudson’s since he was a teenager. C.A.T.C.H. (Curing Autism Through Change and Hope) is a non-profit foundation established by Hudson in January 2008 to enable children with autism to enjoy a normal life through the funding of outlets for proper therapy, education, and extracurricular activities. Through its grants to schools and other non-profit organizations that support the fight against autism, the foundation is building a strong force to defeat the growing developmental disorder.
This year, teachers and advocates submitted grant applications to C.A.T.C.H. Foundation, and thanks to donations and money raised from the events, the C.A.T.C.H. was able to fulfill all six requests designed to allow a better learning environment for autistic children:
• Jessica Crowsom of Lester Elementary was awarded a grant of $375 to purchase stability chairs for use in the classroom.
• Joelle Daguilh of Darlington Middle School was awarded a grant of $1,000 to enable the autism class to enjoy a day at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, and Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
• Kelly Israel of Southside Early Childhood Center, was awarded $2,000 for a classroom tv and touch screen computer to provide children greater classroom learning experiences.
• Chandra Howard of Main Street Elementary, was awarded a grant in amount of $2500 to enable children with autism to enjoy training trips which will help them with life skills.
• Tanjah Hall of St. John’s Elementary School, was awarded a grant for $1795 to enable children to enjoy a fun learning field trip to Barefoot Landing Marina in Myrtle Beach
• Coretta Bailey with Darlington County Autism Support Group, was awarded a grant in amount of $750 to enable the group to raise autism awareness in the community, especially during Autism Awareness Month in April.
“It means a lot that somebody out there cares- to help spread the word about autism, because it is a growing epidemic,” said Coretta Bailey of Darlington County Autism Support Group. “Orlando was born and raised here, and always said if he made it big, he’d come back and help the community. He’s keeping his promise.”
Orlando “O-Dog”’s basketball team didn’t win, much to his chagrin; “You wait till I come to your charity event,” Hudson said to his friend, Anquan Boldin, whose team narrowly beat Hudson’s with a score of 91 – 86.
“He’s pretty competitive,” said wife, Keisa. “To say the least!”
The halftime show included music by two local singers that had fans singing along and tapping their feet; Darlington High School senior Murphy Lee, who will be representing the Miss DHS Pageant as Miss Falcon in the Miss South Carolina Pageant in June, sang “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift, and Kendall Skinner of Hartsville played his guitar and sang two country and western songs, including “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line.
Fans in attendance had a marvelous time, as always, with throngs of kids and grown-ups lining up after the game for a chance to get their photo taken with Hudson and Boldin.
To learn more about C.A.T.C.H., visit their website at: http://www.orlandohudson1.com.