June 21, 2006

Lending A Hand To LAM

With three daughters and one granddaughter, Bill Schulman, owner of Calverton Links Golf Course with his wife Jean, said the threat of a rare lung disease, called pulmonary lymphangioeiomyomatosis (LAM) is all too real.

Schulman, who has made it his personal goal to raise as much money as possible for the LAM Foundation, said, "LAM only attacks women and most don't even know they have it,"

Schulman's good friend's wife, Paula Glad, 52, was one such case.

For years Glad, of Northport, had been ill and doctors attributed her symptoms to asthma. She followed her doctor's advice, but she never felt right about the diagnosis. After nearly 10 years, she sought the aid of a specialist. It was then after a CAT scan that she learned she had LAM.

LAM is a frequently fatal lung disease that affects almost exclusively women. Its cause is unknown and there are no known effective treatments.

Most people don't know about the disease, which makes raising money for research difficult, said Schulman.

A retired CPA, Schulman knew what he had to do: He requested copies of the non-profit LAM Foundation's bookkeeping records. "I saw that they don't nearly have enough funds," he said.

For the most part, the foundation relies on donations from family and friends of those diagnosed with LAM. To help them, Schulman opened his golf course to host a fundraiser that the LAM foundation had not been able to do before.

While for most fundraisers held at his golf course, Schulman collects cost fees for use of his course, he didn't this time.

"We wanted to raise as much money as possible," he said.

The event was held last Wednesday, with over 200 golfers taking to the course to support the LAM Foundation. Each foursome paid $1000 to participate, and many enjoyed an outdoor dinner, donated by Pumpernickels of Northport, after their day of golf at a cost of $75 per person.

There were also raffles with donated prizes that helped raise additional funding.

A proud Schulman said the event raised $70,000 with donations from those who could not attend still coming in. The Bank of Smithtown, alone, sent in $5,000.

"It is all going to the foundation," said Schulman, who urges everyone to open their wallets to make a donation. "Instead of giving gifts, make a donation in the name of someone for their birthday or anniversary."

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