Good News: Parkinson's Golf Tournament - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Good News: Parkinson's Golf Tournament

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Savannah has more resources for Parkinson's patients than most cities its size, but more are always welcome. 

Dodging raindrops wasn't the most important movement being encouraged at Bacon Park Friday afternoon. 

Parkinson's, they always say the biggest thing you can do is move, and what's better than being out on a golf course on a Friday afternoon," said Ed Devita, who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's. 

The Savannah Parkinson's Support Group invited folks out to move the ball forward on Parkinson's Disease, in the Savannah community and beyond, for a golf tournament to raise awareness for the disease as well as to help the organizations who help people who suffer from it. 

The money raised Friday will also help expand the support group's outreach into Bryan and Effingham counties. 

"What this will do is start an initiative where we go out and provide awareness and education. We'll be educating the people that we call the first responders for people like this - the clergy; people they reach out to when they are in crisis," said Sarah Bernzott, Savannah Parkinson's Support Group. 

At Bacon Park, Parkinson's patient Ed Devita was much more relaxed, enjoying activity and camaraderie on the golf course. 

"The more you do, the better you feel. I guess that's across the board with any exercise program, but it's really striking with Parkinson's. With the muscle movement you have, you can alleviate some of the limitations you have," Devita said.  

Charles Tuten, who was diagnosed 12 years ago, didn't play, but enjoyed riding the course with the team he sponsored. 

"One of the best things is it takes your mind off of Parkinson's because Parkinson's is 24/7, every second of the day. You never forget it," Tuten said. 

One of the goals was to let people know that afternoons like this one are still possible. 

"We're trying to get people out and get them moving, and let them know they can do more than just sit home," Bernzott said. 

At the conclusion of Friday's tournament, there will be a $4 million shootout. The winners of the closest-to-the-pin contest on each Par 3 will each get one shot at a hole-in-one to win $1 million. 

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