Ashburn teen remembered during Va. golf tourney

ASHBURN, Va. — On Monday, golfers hit the green to honor an 18-year-old girl who died of bacterial meningitis earlier this year.

“This is just what Madison [Small] would want for us to be doing, just to be celebrating her,” said  Madison’s mother, Rachel.

The golf tournament, held at the 1757 Golf Club in Ashburn, Virginia, included 130 golfers and raised more than $20,000. The proceeds will go in part to funding meningitis research and awareness.

“We want to make sure that people are aware of this disease,” said Madison’s father, Tim.

Money made from the event will also go to a scholarship program set up in Madison’s memory. Small was a senior at Broad Run High School and captain of the softball team.

Dani Cook, 20, played softball with Madison at Broad Run High School. She organized the tournament and would like to make it an annual event.

“We really tried to make it as fun as possible,” Cook says, “because Madison would love to be here, she would have had a great time.”

Family friend Bob Vlasic watched Madison grow up. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t think about Madison, who he nicknamed “Mad Dog.”

Madison became ill in April, her mother said. Madison received an inaccurate diagnosis after visiting an area urgent care clinic.

“She was sent home, and by time we got to the hospital, it was just too late,” her mother said.

Organizers hope the money can be used to get the word out about the deadly illness.

Says her father: “We don’t want this to happen to any other family.”

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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