CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Audrey Hochroth, who took to the greens in Cortlandt Manor for the Autism Speaks Foundation, is well-aware of the challenges many parents face when their children are born with the disorder.
To help raise awareness and money for autism research, Hochroth, who is the owner of Augie's Prime Cut restaurant in Mohegan Lake, started an annual golf outing. On Monday morning, 130 players teed off at the Hollow Brook golf course in Cortlandt Manor to benefit Hochroth's cause. "Statistics are showing that autism is on the rise in epidemic proportions," said Hochroth. "We need to be aware of it and find where it's coming from. People with autism need a lot of therapy and intervention. And seeing my daughter get older, they need other things as well."
Mike Grace, town supervisor of Yorktown, was among those playing in the golf outing, but he was more interested in contributing to Austin Speaks than birdies and bogeys. "It brings in a lot of money for a great cause, " said Grace. "I think it's my obligation and duty to support events and causes like this in any way I can." Joe Pepitone chipped in as the celebrity guest. The former first baseman of the New York Yankees didn't play golf, but he was a big hit at the outing. "It's a thrill being here and the turnout is great," said Pepitone. "I think this is a great cause and I'm happy to help out any way that I can." Hochroth and tournament organizations are hoping to surpass the $70,000 the event they raised from the golf outing a year ago. They might just do it, thanks to a new steak sauce they introduced on Monday. "It's called 'Fat Sal's", said Hochroth. "We had it made and it's going on the shelf. 100 percent of the proceeds got to Austism Speaks."
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