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Wiffleball Tournament Benefits Local Child with Rare Genetic Disorder

November 04, 2013

Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

On Saturday, Nov. 2, 17 teams of students, faculty and staff from Saint Anselm College participated in the Meelia Center's 21st Annual Charity Wiffleball tournament raising $2,500 for two-year-old Rowan Byer of Manchester.

Participants came to the Carr Center Saturday morning in order to support Byer and her family by playing a friendly game of wiffleball. Byer was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Morquio's Syndrome which prevents the body from breaking down sugars, causing buildups in joints that can lead to abnormal heart and skeletal development. In order to keep her alive, her family travels to Chicago every week to visit a clinical trial program where she receives enzyme treatments.

"Each year Saint Anselm students have the privilege of responding to a local family in need, but this year the need truly pulled on our heart strings," said Dan Forbes, director of the Meelia Center. "It is a loving family with a compelling need, and we are glad we could be part of her journey and help the family in this time of need."

Rowan's mother Amy is a dedicated social worker, helping children at risk. Members of Saint Anselm College noticed her mother's hard work and wanted to do the same for her daughter by reaching out to help with their family's medical and travel expenses which total $50,000 annually.

Riley Duggan, a junior at Saint Anselm and a service events manager, credited the volunteers for the success of the event. "I'm so grateful for and proud of my team and all the volunteers, they were so helpful, and the event could not have been as successful as it was."

Over the past 21 years the Meelia Center has raised over $60,000 for individuals, families and groups in the community.

This story was written by Kelsey Walsh '17.

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