Olie & Stu's Desert Bash Set for This Weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Olie & Stu's Desert Bash Set for This Weekend

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - The Carson Kolzig Foundation is pleased to announce that their charity golf tournament, Olie & Stu's Desert Bash 2009, is set to kick-off this weekend, July 19 and 20, at Meadow Springs Golf Course in Richland, Washington.

The premier golf tournament fundraiser, combined with both a live and silent auction, unites professional athletes and community leaders, with a primary purpose of augmenting and improving professional resources dedicated to addressing issues of autism in the Tri-Cities Community.  Last year's event raised a record-breaking $180,000 dollars for the Foundation, which then distributes the monies to various local charities associated with autism education and research.  This year, the Foundation has set the bar even higher, with a stated goal of $200,000.

"I'm thrilled with the amount of community support we are seeing," Carson Kolzig Foundation Co-Founder Christin Kolzig explained.  "It always amazes me to see just how much the Tri-City community continues to support and give to those kids and families dealing with autism."

The organization, which has raised nearly $800,000 over the past seven years, also has earmarked some of the funds to help bring a national autism conference to the Tri-Cities.  The conference, scheduled for August 6 and 7, will welcome guest speaker Dr. Michelle Garcia Winner, an accomplished and well-known speech and language pathologist who specializes in students with social cognitive deficits.  The Foundation will also use funds to provide scholarships for families to attend the conference that would otherwise be unable to do so.

Last year, the Foundation also granted over $90,000 to local organizations alone, including local screening programs for Autism detection.  They also sponsored the First Annual Responding to Autism Event, held last April 11 at the Three Rivers Convention Center.  The resource and networking expo, which they are hoping to make an annual event, brought in over 100 vendors and nearly 400 families from all over Washington State.

The Carson Kolzig Foundation would also like to thank the following sponsors as major contributors to this year's event...

-       Babcock Services

-       Kadlec Medical Center

-       Kennewick General Hospital

-       Lourdes Health Network

8th Annual Olie & Stu's Desert Bash 2009

Schedule of Events:

Sunday, July 19

WHERE:       Meadow Springs Country Club, Richland, WA

TIME:             8:00 a.m. - Check-in

                        9:00 a.m. - Shotgun start for 18-hole play

                        6:00 p.m. - Silent Auction begins

                        7:30 p.m. - Dinner, Live Auction begins, silent auction closes

Monday, July 20

WHERE:       Meadow Springs Country Club, Richland, WA

TIME:             10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Longest Drive and Putting Contest

                        11:30 a.m. - Golf Ball Drop Raffle ($5,000 Grand Prize)

                        12:30 p.m. - Shotgun start for 18-hole play

                        7:00 p.m. - Awards ceremony

Media/Tournament Contact:

Kellee Balcom

(509) 528-4144

About The Carson Kolzig Foundation:

The mission of the Carson Kolzig Foundation is to...

Enhance Autism Treatment Resources in the Tri-Cities

-       Underwrite costs of services/treatment for kids and families affected by autism.

-       Sponsor seminars or training that benefit kids and families affected by autism.

-       Provide capital resources to help bring an autism treatment resource to the Tri-Cities.

-       Provide program funds necessary to improve the quality of treatment for children with autism.

Educate and Equip the Community about Autism

-       Sponsor seminars or training that benefit educators affected by autism.

-       Provide education and support forum to the Tri-Cities community through an annual autism conference.

-       Provide the ‘Kolzig Connection," a foundation newsletter.

-       Host the Carson Kolzig Foundation website with resources and support networks.

Empower Families Challenged by Autism

-       Outreach gesture for families who receive new diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

-       Provide annual outings that allow autistic kids and families to have a day of fun in a safe and appropriate setting.

About Autism:

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the development of social and communication skills.  It can affect a child's ability to interact with others, make friends, and develop at a normal rate.  Autism is the fastest growing disability in the United States; statistics say that a child is diagnosed with autism every 21 minutes.  This disorder affects 1 in every 150 children and is more prevalent than cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, childhood cancer, deafness or juvenile diabetes.  More than a disorder, autism is a national crisis affecting nearly 1.5 million Americans and costing the country more than $90 billion.

People with autism fall into a wide spectrum, from those that will remain non-verbal and require assistance their entire lives to those who display only mild social awkwardness.  Others have behavioral issues as they struggle to deal with sensory overload.

Left untreated, many autistic children will not develop effective social skills and may not learn to talk or behave appropriately.  Very few individuals recover completely from autism without any intervention.  The good news is that there are a wide variety of treatment options which can be very helpful.  Some treatments may lead to great improvement, whereas other treatments may have little or no effect.  No single treatment helps everyone.