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Golf Tournament to Raise Awareness of Autoimmune Disease

Venice residents will hit the links on Monday, Feb. 18, to help raise awareness about a mysterious autoimmune disease that affects three to four times more women than men in the United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

golferNORTH VENICE, FLA. (Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013) – Venice residents will hit the links on Monday, Feb. 18, to help raise awareness about a mysterious autoimmune disease that affects three to four times more women than men in the United States. Scleroderma Foundation supporters will swing to find a cure at the Second Annual Scleroderma Golf Fundraiser at the Venetian Golf and River Club. The event is hosted by Cos Mallozzi, a Venice resident and member of the Foundation’s National Board of Directors. His wife, Ronni, was diagnosed with the disease in 1990.

“Scleroderma” translates to hard skin, and it is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease that affects about 300,000 Americans. The disease causes an overproduction of collagen and results in fibrosis, a process that leads to the hardening of a person’s hands, face and internal organs. The chronic illness can vary from mild to life threatening. Currently, the cause of the disease remains elusive. In addition, there is no cure for scleroderma, only treatments for some symptoms.

Ronni Shulman Mallozzi is a pioneer in the scleroderma community. She created one of the first online message boards and chats for people living with scleroderma. She also was a founding board member for the Scleroderma Foundation. The former PR executive left her career in New York to dedicate her time to raise awareness of the devastating disease. “Raising awareness for scleroderma, which is little known, and helping other patients cope with their diagnoses, is far more rewarding than any work I did when I had my own public relations firm,” she said.

Cos Mallozzi, who retired in 2012 as CEO of the international firm Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, Inc., will host this year’s annual golf fundraiser to educate others about scleroderma. The event features 18 holes of golf, awards for men and women’s divisions, dinner and raffle prizes. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and a shotgun start is at 1 p.m. The Venetian Golf and River Club is located at 105 Pesaro Dr., in North Venice.

The entry fees are: $65 per person for golf and dinner (for members of the golf club), $100 per person for golf and dinner (for non-members), and $35 per person to attend the dinner only. To register, mail a check (payable to the Scleroderma Foundation) to Cos Mallozzi, 345 Montelluna Drive, North Venice FL 34275. Venetian Golf and River Club members also may drop off registration at the club’s pro shop. Learn more about this event www.scleroderma.org/venicegolf.

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