In two years, the families that own and operate CADCO Construction Company have raised an astounding $37,800 through golf tournaments to improve the lives of individuals with autism and support their families.
Ashley and Cortney Duncan, president of CADCO, have triplets, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. Cortney’s stepbrother, Josh Hines, is the Raleigh company’s vice president and also has a son with autism. “We knew we wanted to support an organization that helps individuals and families with autism right here in our community,” Ashley said. “We thought a golf tournament would be a fun way to raise money for autism.”
A partner for life
Ashley and Cortney’s son Peyton is 8 years old and was diagnosed at age 3. “He loves anything sports-related and currently plays soccer, golf, and flag football, and amazes us with his memorization of sports facts.” Their nephew TJ Hines is 10 and was diagnosed at 2. He loves roller-skating, video games, and bowling.
The Autism Society of North Carolina has partnered with the Duncan family throughout Peyton’s life, Ashley said. Autism Resource Specialists have helped with his transition from preschool to kindergarten. They helped the family understand and prepare for the IEP process and attended his IEP meeting to help the family create goals that would help him succeed. A behavior consultant is currently helping them with challenging behaviors at home. “She has been a huge help in creating visual schedules, which help with transitions and reducing anxiety,” Ashley said. “She also helped create a positive reinforcement system for acknowledging positive behaviors and made it enjoyable for him by designing the board as a football field, which he loves!”
A community event
The support they have received from ASNC inspired the Duncans to start the CADCO Construction Autism Awareness Golf Tournament to help other families like theirs. Ashley serves as the Tournament Planner/Organizer and is assisted by a planning committee that includes Cortney, Josh, Carlie Steppe, and Bill Corcoran. This past year, 21 foursomes signed up to play at the second annual tournament at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary. Several local companies donate items for raffle, and the event includes dinner after golf.
“We have several friends and family members that come out to help with volunteer responsibilities and it really is such a fun, positive day where everyone is there to play golf, have some fun, and support autism all at the same time.” Ashley said the team is also thankful for all of the MacGregor staff members, last year’s Platinum Sponsor Sninski & Schmitt Family Denistry, and the sponsors, golfers, friends, family, and volunteers who make the tournament a success by offering their time and donations.
They are planning now for the third annual tournament on Oct. 19 at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary. (For more information, see CADCO’s Facebook page or email Ashley.) “Our goal with this tournament is to continue to have it grow in the coming years and to be able to raise even more funds for the important work that the Autism Society of NC is doing,” Ashley said. “We also hope we can help to raise awareness of what autism is, and how it affects families in our community.”
“All families appreciate understanding and acceptance”
Part of that awareness is understanding that “autism affects so many people in so many different ways,” she said. “One person with autism may appear social, make eye contact, and engage in a conversation, but may still struggle with certain social situations, anxiety, and sensory difficulties. Another could be nonverbal and struggle to communicate, but still wants to make connections and be included just like anyone else.”
Her son and nephew both dislike loud noises and unfamiliar environments, which can sometimes be a challenge in public, Ashley said. “If my son is having a difficult time maybe due to sensory overload, a little understanding and kindness from others can go a long way. My sister-in-law Jenny, TJ’s mom, has noticed that sometimes people aren’t sure what to think or do when they see her working on strategies to help him while out in the community, but she appreciates when people do come up to her and ask. She is happy to share their story in hopes of increasing awareness and acceptance.”
“No matter where a person falls on the autism spectrum, all families appreciate understanding and acceptance.”Tags: ASNC, autism, autism acceptance, autism advocacy, autism awareness, autism fundraiser, autism nc, autism north carolina, autism society north carolina, autism society of NC, Autism Society of North Carolina, Autism spectrum, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders