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COMMUNITY NEWS : CELEBRITIES RAISE MONEY FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY RESEARCH.

Byline: Stacy Brown

A spinal cord injury suffered in a bicycle accident a decade ago made Tom Hollenstein paraplegic.

Ever since then, he and his friends have been fighting to spur research that could lead to a cure for paralysis - something that affects a half-million people in the United States alone.

As part of the battle, the Paralysis Project of America held its 10th annual Tom Hollenstein Golf Tournament at the Calabasas Country Club on Oct. 21.

It was quite a day - with the Calabasas Fire burning its way to the sea.

Nevertheless, the tournament - which featured Hall of Famer and former Dodgers star Don Newcombe, Kings great Rogie Vachon and women's baseball player Pepper Davis, whose story is the basis for the film, ``League of Their Own,'' raised more than $45,000.

``We've been making progress each year,'' said Ed Eisenstadt, one of the chairmen of the project. ``Until the Vietnam War most people died when struck with this (paralysis).''

The cost of spinal cord injuries is tremendous - not only for the victims, but also for society.

More than half of all spinal cord injuries result in quadriplegia and the lifetime cost of caring for a quadriplegic can exceed several million dollars.

Since its inception in 1986, the Paralysis Project has raised nearly $500,000.

One of the means of raising this money has been the support of such celebrities as Newcombe, Vachon, Davis, swimmer Mark Spitz, former Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager and others who donate sports memorabilia for the silent auction that takes place at each tournament.

Local businesses have contributed in many ways as well. Sid's Seafood House in Calabasas hosted the cocktail party. Wally Hollenstein's Calabasas Inn, Add A Sign and the Daily News all acted as sponsors.

Eisenstadt said others such as Jim and Penny Kelly, Tony Magnemi, and Joseph Alioto, the son of the former San Francisco mayor, deserves a lot of the credit, too.

The golf tournament was one of several events taking place this year to raise funds for the research to find a cure for paralysis.

On May 13, the Andy Sacks Golf Invitational at Mountaingate Country Club in Brentwood raised more than $100,000 for the Paralysis Project; the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche played an exhibition game Sept. 28 with a portion of the proceeds going to the organization.

The funds raised have gone to the Paralysis Project Anatomic Imaging Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine. The facility is open to research in the field of neuroscience for scientists throughout the world. Money has gone to support clinical research on vulnerability of spinal cord neurons to certain stimuli, and it helps pay for laboratory research into spinal cord regeneration, work being directed by Martin Marsala and Linda Sorkin of the University of California, San Diego.

Although a cure for paralysis has not been found, there is some optimism.

``Financial support for research projects, such as the one with which I currently am involved at the University of California, Irvine, makes me more confident than ever that breakthroughs in the treatment of spinal cord injury will come very soon'' said John H. Weiss, an assistant professor of neurology, psychobiology, anatomy and neurobiology at the university.

Vachon, who presented an autographed jersey to Hollenstein, says: ``It's an honor to be part of the fund-raising efforts. I am confident that these efforts will bring us a cure soon'' he said.

Walter Mosher Jr. has been selected as the 1996 recipient of the Nelle Reagan Award for distinguished community service, presented by the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Foundation.

The 61-year-old engineer and founder of Precision Dynamics Corp. in Pacoima has given more than 25,000 hours of personal service to numerous San Fernando Valley charities, civic organizations, committees and task forces.

Mosher was honored Friday with the award, named after former President Reagan's mother, at a dinner and silent auction in the Woodland Hills Marriott Hotel.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is recruiting people who want to be school police officers.

The position requires candidates to be in excellent physical condition, have a high school diploma or their General Equivalency Diploma, be at least 21 years old and a U.S. citizen.

The written examination will be given Nov. 2. The selection process will include an oral interview, physical agility test, written and oral psychological exams, polygraph test and medical exam.

Starting pay ranges from $35,074 to $43,654 and the district pays the employees 7 percent contribution to PERS (Public Employees' Retirement System).

The Los Angeles School Police Department provides police services for the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the second largest school district in the nation.

Successful candidates will attend the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Academy or the Rio Hondo Police Academy. The Department currently has 30 openings and will test continuously until all positions have been filled.

For information about this opportunity, call (213) 743-3551.

MEMO: Do you have news in your neighborhood? If so, please send the information to Stacy Brown, Daily News editorial department, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365-4200. FAX: (818) 713-0058.

CAPTION(S):

2 Photos

PHOTO (1) Pepper Davis, one of the characters in the fil m, ``League of Their Own,'' presents Tom Hollenstein with a memento.

(2) Walter Mosher Jr. holds the Nelle Reagan Award for volunteerism.

Joe Binoya/Special to the Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 28, 1996
Words:898
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