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LA GRANGE – What started as a chance for friends and neighbors to gather, play a little golf and show support for George and Jan Karpin has turned in an event that will surpass anything they first envisionedIt’s typical of the Glen Eagles Estates neighbors who have rallied around the Karpins since George was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – Lou Gehrig’s disease – March 2007.“They have really taken to this,” Jan Karpin said. “When we first moved back the neighbors donated funds and built the wheelchair ramp for our house. They bring us meals, run errands. They cooked our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. They are just really here for us. No matter what we need, I can always feel comfortable calling on them for favors.”ALS is a progressive, usually fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons, the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement.To help doctors researching a cure for ALS at Ohio State University – and to offset the costs of some medical equipment not covered by the Karpin’s insurance – the Karpins and their neighbors are hosting a golf scramble to raise funds.The George Karpin Family ALS Benefit will start at noon June 21 at Eagle Creek Golf Course in La Grange.The idea came to Jan Karpin from a mover who told her about a relative of his, a professional baseball player with ALS, when the family was relocating back to La Grange from Fairfax, VA.“One of the movers told me about a relative, a young man in his 30’s who was a professional baseball player with ALS,” she said. “They started doing a scramble for him and he (the mover) told me it was a really good way for friends and family to get together and rally around him and his family.“When I first thought of doing it, I imagined it as something small with the neighbors and some friends from church. Now it has turned into something big, which is good.”George Karpin, 51, is an environmental and safety manager for the U.S. Postal Service. Although ALS has exacted a heavy toll on his health, he still works with Jan doing any typing he needs and holding the phone for him as he conducts business.Prior to being diagnosed with ALS, he was an avid golfer and hiker and has his pilot’s license. He also has his real estate license and worked for a local real estate company and was a home builder who built the home the Karpins live in now.“He is really organized, really intelligent and a hard worker,” Jan said. “He is the guy people will come to when they have questions about a computer, about building a home, about cars. That’s why this has been so hard on him and our friends.”To run the scramble neighbors and friends from Springdale Presbyterian Church where the Karpins attend have formed a 15-person organizational committee. Jan and a member of the committee will appear with Rachel Platt on the WHAS-TV noon newscast on June 16 to discuss the scramble and ALS issues.Activities for the scramble will start at noon on June 21 at Eagle Creek. The cost is $70 per individual if registered before June 15 and $80 after. The cost per foursome is $280 if registered before June 15 and $320 after.The entry fee includes a welcome gift, a free golf club, one round of golf with cart, complimentary beverages on-course and a picnic dinner. There will be plenty of awards and prizes including a cash prize of $10,000 for a hole-in-one. Other featured events include a putting contest, closest to the pin contest, longest drive contest, straightest drive and alternate prizes for all holes-in-one on any of the other par 3’s. There is also a raffle ticket for a 50-50 pot or for two tickets to the Wednesday practice round of the 2008 Ryder Cup.To register, call 222-7927.E-mail us about this story at: firstname.lastname@example.org.