Suffolk couple sponsors softball tourney for genetic syndrome

Published 7:37 pm Saturday, May 14, 2011

Suffolk-based Arzillo Industries, headed by James and Julie Arzillo, is sponsoring a softball tournament to benefit children with little-known Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.

The event is open to the public and will take place at Saturday, May 21, at City View Park in Virginia Beach.

The Arzillos’ 17-year-old son Steven, who was born with CdLS, was the inspiration behind the event.

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“I’m hoping this brings awareness to the syndrome,” James Arzillo said.

James Arzillo is active in the adult softball community, and he said he had heard of other people holding these events as fundraisers.

“I decided to get ambitious and create one of my own,” he said.

Arzillo enlisted the help of Rich Sauls, the Tidewater Amateur Softball Association of America district commissioner, to coordinate the event.

As of Friday, the tournament had nine teams signed, but Arzillo said he hopes more will join the play.

Teams can sign up for an entry fee of $150, which will benefit the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation. The teams are guaranteed three games.

Arzillo said they were fortunate that a friend donated plaques and trophies for the participants.

Additionally, Firehouse Subs will donate 10 percent of sales May 21 from its Indian River and Landstown stores to the foundation.

Arzillo said he hopes to have a good turnout for the event and gather donations for the foundation. However, he does not have a goal amount.

“I think the Foundation will be happy with whatever we get for them,” he said. “Anything we can get for them will be great.”

CdLS is an incurable genetic syndrome that can vary from mild to severe and occurs in about 1 in 10,000 births.

It can cause a wide range of medical, physical and cognitive difficulties. Many people with CdLS display signs of autism and have delayed or non-existent speech and language skills.

Arzillo said Steven, who attends King’s Fork High School, is excited about the tournament Saturday.

Steven often attends his dad’s softball games and is well liked among the teammates.

“He comes to all of our games,” Arzillo said. “He tries to get the teams motivated when we play.”

For tournament registration information, contact Rich Sauls at 549-0304 or to register, visit Teams are required to pay a $25 registration fee.

For more information on Cornelia de Lange Syndrome and the foundation, visit