Kids helping Kids. You can’t beat it. At the MACC Fund, we see it all the time. The most recent time occurred on April 30 as a cadre of many of the top high school golf teams played in the Lake Country Charity Invitational braving windy conditions and below average temperatures to help the MACC Fund help kids.
In the words of the Invitational’s founder and guiding light, Tom Tallmadge, the retired and esteemed coach of the five time defending state champion and Invitational host, ArrowheadHigh School, “Some kids play, so others can live.”
When you look at it that way, the cold winds don’t seem so bad.
Before the golfers set foot on the verdant fairways of Western Lakes Country Club in Pewaukee, they raised funds to help the MACC Fund help kids repeating the process started five years ago in one of the nation’s only high school golf events of this type.WesternLakeswelcomed the high school standouts with open arms. The spring weather has not been kind to golf courses this year yet the fine Western Lakes staff could not have been kinder to the participants. The round started about 9 AM with two welcome guests greeting the golfers – the sun and 7-year-old Emilie Janzen. Emilie and her family made their third appearance before the group to thank them for supporting her fight against cancer. While her mom and sister Maddie looked on, Emilie and her dad Erich thanked the crowd as many held back tears at the thought of this beautiful little girl having to fight the fight she has for nearly 3 years.
The cold winds didn’t seem so bad after all.
Robert W. Baird and Company stepped up again as the major sponsor for which the Invitational organizers, the children and the MACC Fund are most grateful. Numerous other sponsors chipped in as well to support life changing and life saving research all in the spirit of the mantra “Some kids play, so others can live.”
The funds are still coming in, but it promises to be an outstanding year with anticipated funds totaling nearly $44,000. For the record, Kettle Moraine High School won Division 1 honors beating host Arrowhead by 9 strokes. Nic Johnson of Kettle Moraine beat John Langhoff of Arrowhead in a playoff for individual honors. Both shot a 72. Division 2 honors went to Brookfield Central which bested Onalaska by 6 strokes.
The real winners though were the kids like Emilie who are fighting cancer and related blood disorders and who are the first to benefit from the research the golfers are helping to support. If all goes as planned, the five-year totals for the Lake Country Charity Invitational will be $190,000. This certainly puts an exclamation mark on the Invitational’s theme of “Some kids play, so others can live!”
PGA Tour professional golfer and honorary MACC Fund Athletic Board Member Mark Wilson was the Invitational’s Honorary Chair for the fifth straight year. He wrote the golfers a letter thanking them and encouraging them to do all they could to help raise important funds. In addition, for the fifth year, he will play 9 holes each with two teams who heeded his words and excelled in fund-raising. Erin Hills will once again welcome Mark and his newfound friends on June 27. Erin Hills hosted the first two Lake Country Charity Invitationals before Brown Deer Golf Course stepped up to help. Erin Hills also hosted the 2008 USGA Women’s Public Links Championship. It will host the 2011 US Men’s Amateur Championship this summer and will capture the world’s attention by hosting the USGA’s coveted US Open in 2017.
Mark Wilson epitomizes all that is good about those who have helped the MACC Fund for 35 years. A veteran of Wisconsin high school golf who graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in 1993 after he won the state championship as a freshman, Mark’s greatness on the course is mirrored – and exceeded – by his goodness off of it. He has led the PGA’s coveted FedEx Cup standings since February 7 when he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The 2011 Tour’s only two-time winner, Mark’s win at Phoenix followed up on his victory in the Sony Hawaiian Open in January. This success couldn’t happen to a nicer and more generous guy. He and his wonderful wife Amy have donated $175,000 to the MACC Fund since Mark joined the Tour in 2004 through their “Making a Mark Fore MACC” program. The program provides fund for very tournament cut Mark makes as well as additional funds for top 10, 20 and 30 finishes. Their gifts total the largest amounts ever given to the MACC Fund by a professional athlete.
Kids helping kids. It’s a great concept. For the past five years, the Lake Country Charity Invitational has made the concept a life-saving reality by bringing special meaning to the well worn phrase “Some kids play, so others can live.” Thanks to one and all “fore” helping the MACC Fund help kids.
John M. Cary
Filed under: Notes of Hope |