SOSCGE Fall Charity Golf Event

PO Box 2611 Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, USA

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit Fed. EIN 82-3914307

Meet The Team

Susan Whalen

President & CFO

Why I joined SOSCGE:

We've all heard the adage "Small children, small problems. Big children, big problems!"  It's a universal truth for both regular and special-ed children, but having raised both I can attest to the fact that the problems, big or small, can be greatly amplified for those with special needs (Autism, Tourette's Disorder, ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder―our son, Timmy, is diagnosed with all these, and more). I can also confidently say that as individuals with spectrum disorders age into adulthood, the bigger problems seem considerably larger. 

I know firsthand both the unique joys and heartbreaks of witnessing a child with special needs triumph and struggle, the overwhelming amount of services and support needed to help a child with disabilities achieve a brighter future, and the pervasive fear of "What will happen in the future?"  Timmy benefited from the expert care of professionals, the loving support of family and friends―and time after time from the kindness of strangers.  I'd like to 'pay it forward' by raising awareness and funds to benefit Autistic and special-needs children and adults in the Grand Strand Area.

 

Background:

After working as a Financial Analyst at MCI International, General Foods Foodservice Division, and Verizon Wireless, Susan became a stay-at-home parent before starting a copyediting, resume writing, and job search consultancy in 2005. She served for over 10 years as both a Parent Member of her local school district's Special Education Department and as a PTA Treasurer.  Susan holds degrees in  Computer Science (BS from William Paterson University) and Corporate Finance (MBA from Pace University, Lubin School of Business), as well as an ad hoc PhD in Autism and Tourette's Syndrome from Tim Whalen University ;)

Susan and her husband, Peter, have been married for 28 years and have two sons. 

Mollie Laut

Treasurer & Fundraising

Why I joined SOSCGE:

I spent my professional career as an educator in public schools teaching and serving individuals with disabilities and their families.  Throughout this time I was fortunate to meet thousands of dedicated and caring parents who wanted the best for their children.  Although student’s needs were varied, parents were often concerned about what to expect when their child exited high school. For most of our young people with disabilities, their families and our schools provided them with the support and skills necessary to be an independent adult.  However, for some, the needs are much greater and options are limited.  After retirement, I joined SOS Healthcare as a board member to give back to the families who enriched my life and to support programs focusing on the unmet needs of our children and young adults. Oak Tree Farm is one of many programs offered through SOS Healthcare and is designed to provide individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities a promising future in which they can live and work independently.  It takes the commitment of numerous individuals and organizations to make Oak Tree Farm a reality.  I was impressed with the energy and sincerity of the organizers of SOSCGE and grateful for their generous contributions benefitting the programs provided through SOS Healthcare. I eagerly joined forces with SOSCGE for this year’s activities and look forward to being a part of another successful event.

 

Background:

The proud parent of three wonderful sons, Mollie is currently enjoying retirement after serving 44 years as an educator and administrator in public schools, universities, research organizations, and the State Department of Education.  After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science from Ohio University and Master’s in Educational Leadership from Ohio State University, she worked in the public sector as a Speech Pathologist; a consultant for the Ohio Department of Education, Division of Special Education and a research organization devoted to furthering options for individuals with disabilities.  For ten years Mollie served as Director of Special Education in Dublin City Schools, Dublin, Ohio until moving to South Carolina where she served as Director of Special Education for Horry County Schools and Director of Human Resources. Mollie currently serves as a Board Member of SOS Healthcare

Sally Froelich

Secretary & Fundraising

Why I joined SOSCGE:

I sincerely believe that individuals with special abilities not only have many more challenges, but also a greater potential than most of us ever realize. We are fortunate if we recognize that we can make a tremendous difference just by being encouraging, supportive and willing to offer assistance by contributing our time to help can significantly enhance the quality of their lives. To be able to live independently at Oak Tree Farm will considerably increase the confidence and socialization of all the residents, allowing them to be productive citizens within the community, thereby fostering within each of them a true feeling of success. As the parent of a young adult who will be an Oak Tree Farm resident, I am truly proud, excited and sincerely grateful to SOSCGE for the opportunity to volunteer my assistance to this amazing cause.

Background:

My husband Bob and I have 6 children and 10 grandchildren and have lived in Myrtle Beach for almost 16 years. 

For 13 of those years I have worked for the Horry County School District, 5 of which were at the Parent Educator Resource Services assisting Sarah Pope, educating and advocating for parents of children with special needs. 

I then spent the last 8 years as the secretary at The Therapeutic Learning Center, a special program school for children with social/emotional/behavioral challenges. I thoroughly enjoyed touching the lives of and encouraging these amazing children. 

Jim Christian

Promotions & Fundraising

Why I joined SOSCGE:

My youngest son’s wife gave birth to our 6th grandchild, Caroline, who was born at 26 weeks weighing 1lb., 2oz. Her mom was almost lost that night and had to be resuscitated.  After 3.5 months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Caroline came home with an alarm system to provide an alert when she stopped breathing.  Her parents used the alarm system for another 3 months and it went off on a regular basis; very little sleep was had, as the possibility of not hearing the alarm was frightening.  After seeing what my son and his family went through and meeting the parents of other children who were in the NICU Unit, the opportunity to join this endeavor and help children with challenges and their parents was most welcomed.

Background:

Jim was a Special Agent in Charge with the US Secret Service, and after a 20 year career joined Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG for 21 years and as a Corporate Vice President, lived in Basel, Switzerland with global responsibilities in 140 countries.  Jim served as President of The Pharmaceutical Security Institute in Washington and was an expert witness for the US Congress and The European Parliament in Brussels, and for 10 years was a Special Advisor to the Swiss Guard at The Vatican. He is a graduate of St. Francis College and has a Masters from Seton Hall University, and participated in three Executive Management Programs of Harvard Business School, both in Cambridge and in India.

Jim is former President of The Debordieu Colony Community Association, is past Chairman of the Board of Directors of AMI-Kids, Georgetown, participated in the renovation of the new Family Justice Center in Georgetown, and for eight years was a volunteer representative/investigator for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  Presently, he is a Friend of Fisher House – Grand Strand, and is a member of The Midway Fire Rescue Board of Georgetown County.  Married for 45 years, Jim and his wife Suzanne have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.  

Peter Whalen

Webmaster/Liaison

Why I joined SOSCGE:


Having an autistic child motivated me to become involved with the SOS Golf Charity Event―you understand the challenges, struggles, and need for support of those with autism and their caregivers.  There will be an overwhelming number of Autistics reaching adulthood over the coming years, yet there is no effective plan at federal, state, or local levels to handle their independent living needs and ongoing care.  Supporting SOS serves as a good starting point in the Grand Strand/Waccamaw Neck area to help bring awareness on what is necessary to help Autistics to live on their own as adults and to raise funds to serve both children and adults with Autism.

 

Background:

Peter enjoyed a 30-year career in the wireless telecom and software industries.  After 10 years, in 2015, he retired from Confirmit as EVP, Americas.  Earlier in his career Peter was VP North America at Sand Technology, and held Operations and Executive Management positions at Fair Isaac, HNC Software, Systems/Link Corporation, and Verizon Wireless. Peter was a member of the Nanuet (NY) School Board for 9 years, the Nanuet Civic Association for 11 years, and was involved with the Nanuet Little League for 8 years as President, Board Member, Manager, and Coach.  Peter and his wife, Susan, have been married for 28 years and have two sons. 

Advisory Board:                                                 

Mike Marino

Past President

Why I support SOSCGE:

In the past 2 years I helped form and joined the Board of a new charity, Grand Strand Autism Coalition (GSAC), and then its successor charity, SOS Charity Golf Event (SOSCGE), because I was inspired by the personal experience of two of our team members who have a 22+ year old son who is autistic, and others on our team in similar situations … people who know first-hand how enormously challenging is such a situation.  After further researching the need for support for individuals with autism, both nationwide and, more specifically, right here in the Myrtle Beach area, I am strongly motivated to try to make a difference in their lives by working through SOSCGE and through autism care providers such as SOS to raise awareness of this very significant cause and to raise funds to help satisfy their many significant needs, notably the development of SOS’s Oak Tree Farm residential community for people with autism who have reached adulthood.

David Ognek

Past VP/Secretary

Why I support SOSCGE:

My wife and I moved to the Grand Strand from New Jersey in 2003. We have two sons and five grandchildren. Recently, I served as Vice-President of Tee Off Fore A Cause, Inc. a non-profit charity dedicated to raising awareness and funds for wounded American veterans. The needs of the autistic community are great and by serving on SOSCGE, I hope to assist in meeting those needs.

Jim Pomplun

Past Donation Records/Promotions

Why I support SOSCGE:

My wife and I moved to Pawleys Island, SC in 2014. For two years I served as VP and Fund Raising Chairman for TOFAC, Tee Off Fore A Cause, a 501 3c charity dedicated to collecting donations for Wounded Warrior Project. I have 4 daughters and 9 grandchildren, 2 of whom have Autism to varying degrees, which makes my involvement with the SOS Golf Charity Event even more meaningful.

Clement Williams

Past Promotions /Fundraising

Why I support SOSCGE:

My interest in serving on the Board of the SOS Golf Charity Event—to in any possible way benefit others—was inspired by the courage of my beautiful infant granddaughter, Charlotte Grey Williams, who passed away after three months in the MUSC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

SOSCGE

Volunteers:

Mike Balestracci

Emily Balastracci 

Kevin Kaylor

Doug Pounder

Al Sirmon

Steve Smith

Sarah Pope

Liam Pope

Charles Holt

Mark Holt 

Jamie Sullivan

Rick Gibbins

Cheryl Baurele

Cissy Knapp

Tonja Jewell 

Edie Nadler

Bill Rockwell 

Alan Nagy  

Rich Casperson

Janet Steinbach

Lisa Palm

Mollie Laut

Linda Burgess

Interns:

Hannah Williams

Aubree Johnson