The Swinerton Foundation, along with Swinerton employees in Sacramento, kicked off a fundraising campaign for a cause close to their hearts with a fun St. Patrick’s day lunch at the office.

The lunch signals the start of eight weeks of fundraising for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF), a cause that came to the attention of the office after Elizabeth Miller, the daughter of Swinerton Senior Project Engineer Jason Miller and his wife Carly, was recently diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects one in every 12,000 to 20,000 people.

Jason wrote this email to the Sacramento office to tell his family’s story:

Little Elizabeth Pearl Miller was born on Feb. 17, 2016. This was the happiest day of my life.

As time went by my wife and I noticed that Elizabeth was not developing or making her milestones. Her pediatrician referred us to UC Davis & Shriners children’s hospital for testing. In December we were informed that Elizabeth has Angelman Syndrome. When my wife and I received this news, we were very confused. We had never heard of this disorder, and looking at Elizabeth you would never guess there is anything wrong. She is a happy, and beautiful little girl.

As we grow through this process, it is our goal to learn everything we can about the disorder that makes Elizabeth unique.

Angelman is a rare and severe neuro-genetic disorder. Characteristics of the disorder include developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures, and walking and balance disorders. Individuals with Angelman syndrome will require life-long care. The disorder is caused by a deletion of the number 15 chromosome. People with the disorder are characterized by having a happy demeanor. Little Elizabeth is always smiling, and brings great joy to everyone around her.

Elizabeth’s uniqueness, her individual spark, is what makes her remarkable. When I look at my daughter, all I see is perfection.

The ASF raises money to advance the awareness and treatment of Angelman syndrome through education and information, research, and support for individuals with Angelman syndrome and their families.

At the luncheon, Swinerton’s resident Leprechaun (aka Ben Trantham) graciously entertained employees, and the group donated over $1,600 in cash. This amount was doubled thanks to a matching contribution by our Division Managers, bringing the total raised for the day to over $3,200.

“I have been truly blown away by the generosity shown by Swinerton, its great leaders, and employees,” Jason said.

The Swinerton Foundation granted $5,000 to the organization and the office’s goal is raise $25,000  over the course of the next seven weeks, with several more events planned, including a cake walk and a local food truck tasting.

Thank you to Swinerton Sacramento for your overwhelming support and for participating in such a worthy cause!