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The Annual Czerkies Memorial Golf Outing: 15 Years of Helping the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Find a Cure for Multiple Myeloma

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on the image or link below:

LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Now on its 15th year, the Annual Czerkies Memorial Golf Outing continues to honor the memory of Edward and Carolyn Czerkies by raising funds for the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF).

This year, the annual event will take place on Saturday, June 3 at Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook, IL. The event is limited to 144 golfers; shotgun start will be at 12:30 p.m.

To date, the Annual Czerkies Memorial Golf Outing has successfully funded five IMF Brian D. Novis (BDN) Grants, among which was a 2022 BDN Grant for Martina Chiu (University of Parma—Parma Italy) and her research on Dissecting the nutritional interaction between multiple myeloma and mesenchymal stromal cells reveals novel targetable pathways.”

The Brian D. Novis Research Grant was established in 1995 to honor IMF co-founder Brian D. Novis, who succumbed to multiple myeloma in July 1992. The grants are awarded annually to promote research into all areas of myeloma in an effort to improve patient outcomes. 

In 1998, after experiencing worsening pain in her back and spine, Carolyn Czerkies was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Two years later, she passed away from complications brought about by the disease.

“It took a long time for doctors to diagnose exactly what my mom had. Once she had a diagnosis, the research began. This was in 1998 and at the time, the medical industry was just learning more about multiple myeloma and how to treat it,” recounted Craig Czerkies, one of Edward and Carolyn’s three sons.

Craig recalled that it was their dad, Edward, who reached out to the IMF to gather more information about this lesser-known blood cancer. That’s when the Czerkies’ relationship with the IMF started (Edward passed away in November 2018 at age 81, after a courageous fight with prostate cancer).

“In 2008, once my brothers (Scott and Dave) and I decided that we wanted to do a charity golf outing to support the IMF, I started communicating with Suzanne Battaglia and she helped me through the process,” narrated Craig.

On why the Czerkies decided to do a memorial golf outing every year, Craig replied: “My dad, brothers, and I have always been avid golfers. So, it just made sense to explore the possibility of raising money through a golf outing. We really see our annual event not just as a memorial to honor Mom and Dad but also as a fun, yearly reunion of friends and family. Many participants fly in from outside of Illinois to attend each year.”

On choosing the IMF as the annual memorial golf outing’s beneficiary, Craig said that the Czerkies “wanted to give back to the IMF for the support that we received during my mom’s battle with multiple myeloma.”

“We felt that the IMF focused not only on attempting to find a cure but also in supporting both patients and their families during their collective battles with this terrible disease. We are very proud of the Brian D. Novis Research Grants that we’ve been able to fund over the past 14 years,” said Craig.

Because of the Czerkies hard work and persistence, the Annual Czerkies Memorial Golf Outing has become one of the largest golf outings in the U.S., with 144 golfers participating in 2022. What’s their secret?

“I feel that we do a very good job in organizing the event each year and in communicating with our golfers and sponsors. Also, we always schedule the outing on the first Saturday of June so that it’s consistent and easy to remember. It’s pretty rare for golf outings to be on a weekend and I feel that it helps that most participants don’t have to take a day off from work to join us. I feel that the golf course venues we have chosen over the years are also important in adding to everyone’s enjoyment. We have now been on four different courses (three public and one private). Hopefully, we have found a permanent home at our current venue, Bolingbrook Golf Club. Most importantly, I feel that the folks involved (golfers, sponsors, and volunteers) look forward to the event each year and are so generous and supportive of our efforts,” revealed Craig.

He described some of the highlights and best moments of the fundraiser. “In 2008, our inaugural event included 87 golfers and about 12 sponsors. As we approach our 15th annual event, we anticipate over 150 golfers and about 30 sponsors. Many of our golfers and sponsors have been participating since the very first one.”

Holding the event in early June every year in the Midwest meant that weather was always a concern. “The first few years, it seemed that thunderstorms were always in the forecast on the day of our event. I remember driving to the course to start one of the first events (possibly in 2009/2010) and rain was coming down in buckets. However, as the tee-time approached, the skies cleared, the course dried up, and the event went off without any delay. We always said that it was our mom working with Mother Nature to make sure we had good weather,” Craig recounted.

Other memorable moments include Edward’s foursome (winning 4 out of the first 10 years); introducing a live radio broadcast and a Live Music Stage to the pre-golf events a few years ago; a national anthem performance by John Vincent of the Chicago Cubs; and generally, providing a great experience for all participants, shared Craig.

This year, the Czerkies are planning to add a Win a Car for a Hole-in-One, which, hopefully, will be the highlight for 2023.

Asked if he has words of encouragement to share with the myeloma community, Craig responded: “We have seen great strides in the treatment of multiple myeloma over the past 20 plus years. From what I can tell, the medical industry continues to get closer to a cure each and every year. Their understanding of how to treat the disease is greater than in the past. The most important factor in a person’s ability to successfully treat the disease is to get diagnosed as early as possible. From the research I have done, it seems that someone diagnosed with multiple myeloma who gets proper treatment can live for decades. This was not the case when my mom was diagnosed in 1998. My hope is that the medical community will continue to focus on learning more about multiple myeloma and ultimately, find a cure.”

“The IMF is honored and immensely grateful to the Czerkies for their 15 years of continued support and for funding five BDN Research Grants. Their motivation and hard work in making the Annual Czerkies Memorial Golf Outing one of the largest in the U.S. are truly laudable and inspiring for both the IMF and the myeloma community. We look forward to more years of working together with the Czerkies family to raise much-needed funds for research and to help find a cure for multiple myeloma,” said IMF Director of Development and Events Ilana Kenville.

The Czerkies family is inviting everyone to participate in this year’s 15th Annual Czerkies Memorial Golf Outing to help the IMF in its efforts in finding a cure for this life-threatening disease.

If you are unable to attend the event, you may still donate through the event’s IMF Donate page.

For golf and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Craig Czerkies at (630) 721-0557 or by sending an email to

Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest global foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation's reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is   

Follow the IMF on: 
Twitter: @IMFmyeloma 
Instagram: @imfmyeloma 
Facebook: @myeloma 
LinkedIn: International Myeloma Foundation 

Media Contacts: 

Peter Anton 

Jason London 

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