Golf tourney nets $120,000 for Down Syndrome research

The 2nd Annual Research Down Syndrome Golf Classic, held on June 16 at the Bridlewood Golf Club in Flower Mound, and the Texas Twilight for Down Syndrome evening reception featuring live and silent auctions on June 15 at Austin Ranch in Grapevine, raised $120,000 for Down syndrome research, according to hosts Paul and Patty Watson of Flower Mound. 

Elected officials and retired professional athletes supported the Down syndrome fund-raising events.  U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions was honorary chairman; Gov. Rick Perry and state Rep. Tan Parker of Flower Mound were honorary sponsors. 

Golfers included Claude Osteen, an 18-season pitcher for MLB’s Los Angeles Dodger, and Ira Terrell, a former NBA center and forward who played basketball at Dallas ISD’s Roosevelt High School and Southern Methodist University.  Tony Casillas, a 12-season NFL defensive tackle, and his wife, Tamara, attended the reception.  He was responsible for ear-to-ear smiles when he allowed attendees to slip on one of the Super Bowl rings he won as a Dallas Cowboy. 

Tournament and auction proceeds will be distributed through a scientific advisory board, which “follows a strategic plan to move from university labs to Food and Drug Administration medication,” according to Patty Watson. 

“Raising $120,000 was possible through the caring and generosity of more than 130 golfers, 200 auction attendees, numerous corporate and personal sponsors, and a group of dedicated volunteers – in the midst of a very challenging economy,” she added.  “We are deeply grateful, absolutely amazed and humbled.  We are also pleased to announce that in relation to these events, two Texas pharmaceutical companies are now considering undertaking medication development.”

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