Bull’s Eye For Babies
Written by Joyce Cattelane
Graysen’s Way Charity Dart Tournament
Do you like to play darts? Would you like your lucky shot to make a difference in a child’s life? Join the fun on Saturday, May 19 at the Ice House Pub, 408 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, and take part in the “Bull’s Eye for Babies” charity dart tournament.
The dart tournament is in memory of Graysen Nicole Sousa, the daughter of Farrah Harris and John Sousa, who died New Year’s Eve 2008 of SIDS at the age of five months. The most horrific thing that can happen to any parent was the impetus for Farrah to form Graysen’s Way, Inc., a nonprofit corporation the year that her daughter died. In previous years the group held a fundraiser at Bin 82 in Punta Gorda and in 2011 a fishing tournament that garnered $7,500 for SIDS research.
There will be two-person teams, with a $25 per person entry fee. A prize of $500 will be given to the winning team. Interested participants are asked to register by May 11 to guarantee a spot and receive a free tournament t-shirt. All skill levels are invited. Registration begins at 5:30 PM and the games begin at 6:00 PM. The band Kollections will play from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM, there will be corn hole games, bull’s eye challenges, and a chance to win the wheelbarrow of fun. All proceeds go to SIDS research, education and awareness.
Farrah said that she was never given any information from her doctors about SIDS. “There is very little literature or TV commercials out there. Anytime I heard about a SIDS-related death, I always felt that the parent must have done something negligent for the child to die, until I went through it. My daughter was a chunky, healthy little girl who went to sleep on New Year’s Eve. She just fell asleep and passed.” Graysen had a history of spitting up most of her life and Farrah tried different formulas and the infant was on medication for acid reflux. But the medical examiner stated that she didn’t choke: there was no physical reason for her death, so her diagnosis was SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Farrah became involved with Angels in the Media, a group that encourages media celebrities to investigate and encourage research of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She said that tissue research from SIDS babies began a year ago. “There could be something in these babies that is wrong that they are susceptible to SIDS. The bottom line is there is still so much testing and research yet to be done and money is desperately needed for that research. There is such little money that goes to SIDS awareness, research and education and that’s why I started Graysen’s Way.”
She added, “There are a lot of antiquated ideas about SIDS out there, such as that SIDS babies come from low income families, where there is smoking, and too many blankets in the crib. None of those were factors in Graysen’s passing. There’s a whole bunch of things that they attribute to SIDS but frankly, I don’t think they have a clue.” She added, “I have a lot of faith and I thank God that I had her for five months.” Graysen’s five-year old brother Zane still talks about her and is happy that she’s in heaven.
“Most of us went to high school together,” according to Carly Cady, committee member of the dart tournament. She said that, “When Graysen passed away, all of her friends really tried to gather around her and support her and this was something that was important for her to do. This was part of her recovery process; she is not only raising money but also raising awareness of SIDS. All proceeds will be donated in Graysen’s name to the American SIDS Institute. It’s meant to be a good time for a good cause.”
For information, visit www.facebook.com/GraysensWayDartTournament or call Farrah Harris at (941) 276-4169. For information on the American SIDS Institute, visit their website at www.sids.org. The American SIDS Institute is
located at 628 Raven Way, Naples, Florida, 34110. Their phone number is (239) 431-5425.