Tournament helps fund pediatric research

Tavistock Country Club provides a golf outing once a year to a worthy local charity.

This year, Help Women and Children Now, based in Haddonfield, was selected.

In 2011, Haddonfield Education Trust was chosen, said Tom Gramigna, Vice President of the Board at the club.

“We try to rotate it,” he said.

On Monday, Sept. 10, 68 golfers took part in raising funds for pediatric heart disease and premature birth research and more than 100 came for a benefit dinner.

Help Women and Children Now raises funds for pediatric heart disease and premature birth, ultimately giving back to Haddonfield families in need, said President and Founder Lisa Hurly.

Helping Hurly at the club was Virtua Hospital’s Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Dr. Ronald Librizzi.

“He’s the reason I’m alive,” she said.

“You’re going to make me cry,” responded Librizzi.

Hurly’s son, Stephan Michael, passed away in 2003 from premature birth complications, but her 7-year-old is alive because of the efforts of Librizzi during her high risk pregnancy, she said.

“He’s trying to keep women pregnant longer,” she said, as that is where the weakness lies.

“He’s my hero,” she added.

“She’s my hero,” Librizzi rebutted.

Most people take being pregnant for granted, Hurly said, and she’s grateful for the people who do not have to face the issues she encountered.

Babies should come home and be enjoyed for years to come, she said.

“That is the way it should be, but unfortunately that’s not the way it is for everybody,” said Hurly.

The Board has recognized a need for research and to provide help.

“We do it for a reason that is beyond sad,” she said. “If there’s one family that can benefit and not go through what we went through, then it’s worth it.”

Being healthy doesn’t always correlate to a healthy pregnancy unfortunately, explained Librizzi.

“You don’t get much healthier than this gal,” he said, pointing at Hurly.

Patients, he said, get mad when people who do not take care of themselves have healthy babies, while those who do their best to make good choices in life face complications when trying to create or add to their family.

“We figure if you do good and avoid evil,” he said, “Everything is going to be right in the world.”

In reality, he added, “We don’t have any control over it at all.”

Librizzi said he has the best job possible.

“Women who have problems think they’re the only ones in the world who have that problem,” he said.

Having an understanding of family history can help.

“We have a lot of technology,” he said. “We have a lot of ways to do this or do that,” but he wants people to feel like they’re coming to family when they see him.

And Hurly, to him, is family.

Hurly’s role in the organization is what she calls a “labor of love.”

“For me, this is not work,” she said. “It’s what you do because of the loss you have and there’s nothing else you can do.”

“It’s the least you can do.”

In addition to the golf outing, the organization stays active throughout the year, with events including KidzFest, home makeovers and the Home Run Derby.

The tournament was held while the golf course was closed to the public, said Golf Professional Corey Katzen.

There are usually about 10 to 15 outings a year held at Tavistock, generally between May and October, he added.

Hurly and her board members enjoyed warm, sunny conditions during their outing.

“Our main focus is awareness,” she said, to know where to go, what to do and who can help if this happens to you. “So you don’t feel so alone.”

Learn more

Visit www.helpwomenandchildren.com to learn how to become a sponsor, volunteer or to make a donation.

Call (877) 744–3083 for additional information or email info@kidzfest.org.