Ending 2021 Strong
Hello, again, everybody. It has been a while since I’ve put together a blog, but it hasn’t been from slacking around! I’m excited to finally have a chance to sit down and share some stuff with you. But, first, a big “Thank You” goes out to each of you. Whether its emotional or financial, your support is the only way I am able to do what I do. It’s said that nothing can stop a determined spirit, but it sure helps to have support with that determination.
What I do is not for me, never has been. I’ve never wanted or needed much, but I do know there are so many people – especially kids – who do need help and support. To help give them opportunity and hope is exactly why I do this.
What began as a one-time thing for a week in 2007 has turned into something beyond my wildest dreams. I am nearing the end of my 14th year walking every hole of every PGA TOUR event. It started as something I wanted to try for fun for a week. Today, it’s the “Walking for Kids” Foundation.
Each week, a player takes me on to follow him at an event all 18 holes, all four days. The player will then donate a dollar amount of their choosing to the Foundation. This marks the end of year 12 for the Foundation. And, things couldn’t be going better!
In all, through the help of the PGA TOUR, its players, caddies, sponsors and fans, I will cross the $1 million mark in charitable giving by the end of the year. To commemorate the accomplishment, my Foundation and I are being recognized at the 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open. While I am absolutely moved like I have never been, I am also not one who prefers the limelight. If I had my way, that light would shine on all the lives that have been enriched through the “Walking for Kids” Foundation.
In other news, I was recently back at my parents house in Hendersonville, NC for my brother’s big 50th surprise birthday party. Ken is now officially over the hill! I’ll be headed to Portland to spend Thanksgiving with my sister.
After that, I’m excited to travel in early December to Valdosta, GA to present a check for $20,000 to the Miracle League of Valdosta. This incredible non-profit created and now manages all-inclusive baseball fields all over the country. The way it works is that a person with a disability pairs up with an able-bodied person who will help get his partner around the bases. Not only do they have handicap-accessible dugouts, but the concession areas were built wide and spaced out enough so that individuals in wheelchairs can work there. The Miracle League is all over the country, but the one in Valdosta is extra special. This is the third year we are making a donation to them.
Then, in January, I start the TOUR season up again at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui. Sometimes, I just cannot believe this is the life I get to lead.
I cannot thank the players enough for the willingness to get involved. Over the years, the biggest change was when – rather than a TOUR Media Official asking a player on my behalf – players started coming to me directly and asking when they can have me for a week. I now call them friends. The collective heart of those who compete on the PGA TOUR is the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced.
So, thank you to the TOUR and its players, all my sponsors and, most of all, the fans. Without your support, love and kindness, I would have never made it this far. I encourage everyone to keep going. Believe that anything is possible and then prove it, even if only to yourself. Inspiring yourself is an inspiration to others. Walk on, friends! Happy Holidays, everyone. I’ll be updating you with a much more regular blog…..ideally, at least once a month.