Life is Grand Charity Golf Tournament
Hello again, ChicagoDuffer.com faithful. I'm back from a much-needed vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC, which luckily missed the wrath of hurricane Irene over the past few days. During my trip I had the opportunity to play golf at Indian Wells Golf Club (not the one of Big Break fame; that one is in Palm Springs) and met two of the more interesting people in my life. On Wednesday I was paired with Jason Bentley and his eight-year-old son, Brandon. Throughout the round Jason and I shared stories of our hometowns and offered encouragement to his son who "really wanted to use Dad's clubs" on each hole. Needless to say, we had a lot of time to become acquainted during a 5-hour round.
This is how I learned about the Life is Grand Charity Golf Tournament, which Jason and his family have coordinated and hosted for the last five years. The back story and driving force behind this charity is one that unfortunately far too many people in this world experience on an annual basis: the horrors of drunk driving and the loss of a loved one.
According to the foundation's website, Tyler Bentley - Jason's brother - passed away on Thanksgiving Day 2005 as a result of a drunk driver. Tyler was 18 years old at the time of his death and was attending NOVA with hopes to transfer to Radford University to study Criminal Justice. Tyler B's Life is Grand foundation primary goal is to directly disperse monies to The Johns Hopkins University Hospital Brady Urological Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. As a child Tyler was treated at Johns Hopkins to correct some birth defects. Through his treatment and care at Johns Hopkins, Tyler became an active participant in multiple sports, including golf.
The foundation raises charitable donations through various sources. Donations are received from golfers participating in the golf outing, as well as non-golfers who wish contribute directly to the foundation with a monetary donation. The foundation also receives donations from local and out of town businesses and individuals who make a contribution by sponsoring holes at the outing. On the day of the outing, additional donations are raised from the purchase of mulligans, raffle tickets, and auction that is held at the conclusion of the outing. All proceeds from the outing will be donated directly to the Brady Urological Institute, to be used for research and the purchase of new medical equipment.
The annual event takes place at Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, VA on Saturday, September 17th 2011.