Vol 24 October 2014

Mac Everett
General Chairman

Kym Hougham
Executive Director

Jan Ivey
Director of Marketing and Partner Relations

Tony Schuster
Director of Operations

Gwen Crow
Tournament Coordinator

Paula Burnett
Volunteer Coordinator

Christine Lockett
Tournament Project Manager

James Stevens
Tournament Assistant

Special Needs

Whenever you have an annual event such as the Wells Fargo Championship, people have the opportunity to make and renew friendships, create special memories for themselves and others and have the opportunity to reflect on scenes witnessed during tournament week. Each year, the tournament office receives letters or emails which remind us how special people can be. Here is an example:

It was Tuesday, I was on the 15th hole at the handicapped tent. It was mid-afternoon, there were about ten people sitting there. I was alone, standing in the back at the entrance. I was looking around and an elderly man stood outside the stand, peering in and looking deep in thought. When I saw him, I was not sure if there was something wrong with him, so I waited for a while. I approached him and asked him if he would like to come in and have a seat. He looked at me and turned his ticket over and said I don’t have a special needs sticker. I said that is was okay, I had lots of seats, so he could come in and sit for a while. He stepped in and just stood there. He looked emotional. I waited and then said Sir please have a seat. He said to me, I just want to stand here and take this in. I said okay. After a few minutes, he came to me and said you are so kind to me. I would like to tell you something. He appeared to be a little shaky. I said let’s sit here and you can tell me. He said I spent the whole week here last year with my wife. We had such a great time. She loved golf. She had a stroke last year before the tournament and you made it possible for me to bring her and have a great time.

I bought tickets for this year. Then he looked into my eyes and said “She passed away ten days ago”. I said Sir I am so sorry for your loss. Please stay here as long as you like. He said his daughter and son-in-law were meeting him there. I said the stand is not full that they may come in and join him. He thanked me for understanding and for taking the time with him. By that time I had tears in my eyes. I just patted him on his back and smiled. Soon after his daughter and son-in-law joined him.

One of the women sitting there was looking at the program, reading the article that was written about special needs service. She asked me to read a certain paragraph and when I bent over to see it, my eyes glanced on the other page. It went through me like lightning!! There was a picture of him and his wife on the opposite page. He stood there with a smile on his face, she was in a wheel chair, and they had a nurse with them. Can you imagine??

I thought Oh My Goodness!! I have to share this with them. So I called Bob (Special Needs Co-Chair) and told him the story. I asked him if he could get a program. I would pay for it. He said I will get one and come over. He came over and I said I think you should give it to him. We walked over, I introduced Bob to them. I said to his daughter and him, could you please come back with us a minute we have something to share with you. I said that there was a special article in the program about special needs and there were some pictures. I opened the book and showed them, he took the book and they looked. They started to cry. They couldn’t believe that was their picture!!! What are the chances of that?? I told them to sit down again, but he said they were going to leave. With tears in all our eyes, they walked away. I somehow feel that God wanted us to all share that moment.

Kathy Steckel
Special Needs Volunteer