Susie Classic set for another year

The Susie Foundation Executive Director Ryan Matthews speaks during the annual Susie Classic kickball fundraiser last year in Beacon Falls. This year’s event is Saturday at the Pent Road Recreation Complex. –FILE PHOTO

The Susie Foundation Executive Director Ryan Matthews speaks during the annual Susie Classic kickball fundraiser last year in Beacon Falls. This year’s event is Saturday at the Pent Road Recreation Complex. –FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The Susie Foundation is hosting its annual Susie Classic kickball fundraiser Saturday.

The Susie Foundation is a Beacon Falls-based non-profit  that supports local homebound patients and their families living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in Connecticut. The foundation was founded in honor of Susan (Ready) Matthews, who lived in Beacon Falls with her family. Matthews was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in November 2009. She died at the age of 57 in 2011.

“It was a transformative moment for our family,” said Ryan Matthews, 26, Matthews’ son and executive director of The Susie Foundation, in a news release. “My mom needed round the clock care beginning during the very early stages of the disease, which, at times, presented seemingly insurmountable challenges. But we were lucky to have an incredibly supportive, loving, and dedicated network of family, friends, and community care providers to help us along the way.”

ALS is a degenerative motor neuron disorder which takes healthy, physically-capable individuals and slips them into full-body paralysis. At the time of diagnosis, ALS patients are only expected to live an additional two-to-five years with the disease, according to a press release issued by the foundation.

The outpouring of love and support the Matthews family received after Susan Matthews’ death motivated them to continue their work in support of homebound ALS patients and their families.

“The Susie Foundation’s goal is simply to harness our experiences with ALS to bring help and hope the 30,000 other patients and families nation-wide currently living with the disease,” Ryan Matthews said. “By sharing what we know and honoring my mother’s legacy, we’re hoping to make life just a little easier and more meaningful for all those folks who find themselves — or find a loved one — facing an ALS diagnosis.”

The Susie Classic will be at the Pent Road Recreation Complex, 100 Pent Road. The tournament begins at 12 p.m.

Individuals 16 years old and older are invited to play. Teams can register and pay the day of the tournament. However, interested teams must submit a registration form online at TheSusieFoundation.org by midnight Thursday. For more information, contact Ryan Matthews at (203) 217-4884 or TheSusieFoundation@gmail.com.

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