Friday, February 26, 2021

Fundraiser honors dead PSUC student

Club Caribbean honors its former board member with the fourth annual fundraiser to raise awareness for epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that provokes seizures in individuals affected by it. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the disease is the fourth most common neurological disease among all ages, with about 150,000 new cases each year. 

Someone is diagnosed with epilepsy after having two unprovoked seizures.

During the 2015 spring semester, Kodi Kadeem Beckles, a member of the clubs editorial board, passed away due to epilepsy. 

Soon after, Club Caribbean organized an event where all of the proceeds are donated to the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York. 

The event includes a basketball tournament of four teams. Each team member of the four teams is charged $5 to play during the event. Cunningham said the club has raised over $200 during past events.

The club chose a basketball fundraiser in his honor because of his love of the sport. 

“The event is held at Memorial Hall,” Club Caribbean president Raven Cunningham said. “We have four basketball teams [made up of] five to seven players. He liked basketball, so this is what [club caribbean] is doing in memory of him.”

The event seeks to bring more awareness of the disease to PSUC. 

“You don’t really hear about epilepsy,” Cunningham said. “It’s a neurological disease. With this fundraiser, [people] hear about it.”

The annual event donates to the Epilepsy Foundation of the Northeastern New York every year. The foundation offers many different programs for people who want to get involved like counseling, support groups and educational programs. 

“Everybody is connected to somebody with epilepsy,” Epilepsy Foundation of the North Country Marketing and Communication special events coordinator Kennedy Lawton said. “There are more people affected by epilepsy than muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease combined.”

The Epilepsy Foundation is a non-profit organization that hosts events for fundraising and awareness. Its Northeastern branch is based in Albany, but it is still able to sponsor third-party events from other places by sending board members out.

Lawton has held her position at the foundation since June 2018 and enjoys the work. She said the foundation holds four events annually to receive donations for the cause. These events include a bowling tournament, golf tournament, and a walk to end epilepsy.

“Non-profit work is rewarding,” Lawton said. “ We like to help people instead of making money off them.”

 

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