24 May 2021

Willbrook golf tournament proceeds benefit lupus research program at HudsonAlpha

On a beautiful October morning, colleagues, family, friends and supporters came together for the 14th annual Willbrook Golf Tournament to benefit the HudsonAlpha Foundation. More than 100 golfers participated in the October 2 event at the Canebrake Club in Athens and raised $30,000 for lupus research at HudsonAlpha.

There are currently an estimated 1.5 million Americans living with lupus and five million people worldwide. Lupus is a type of autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases occur when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body. Today, there is no cure for lupus disease.

In 2002, Bonita Phillips, president and CEO of Willbrook Solutions, was diagnosed with lupus disease. As a way to propel the research, the family organized and started a golf tournament to benefit lupus disease research. Since the inception of the tournament, it has raised more than $100,000 to benefit lupus disease research.

When the family presented the check, Phillips shared, “we are thankful to give this donation to a local organization this year. We are hopeful that the research happening at HudsonAlpha will someday lead to better treatments and a better understanding of lupus disease.”

The proceeds from the event will fund lupus research in the Dr. Devin Absher lab.

“My lab has been working on lupus projects for the last 10 years,” said Devin Absher, PhD, faculty investigator and director of genomic health at HudsonAlpha. “Our work is focused on the role of epigenetics, or environmental factors, in lupus. By understanding the role of epigenetics, we can gain a better understanding of prevention and treatment paths.”

May is lupus awareness month. If you would like to contribute to HudsonAlpha’s lupus research in honor of lupus awareness month, visit hudsonalphafoundation.org/donate and designate lupus.