I took a day off yesterday – a move I think surprised everyone and threw more than a few morning routines off. I always take the first Monday in June off — and I have for the last ten years. Yes, to play golf, but for another reason – a reason much more important than 18 holes could ever be.
Back in 1997, I was asked to be the station representative for a charitable golf tournament in Washington, PA. I was taking over for Don Cannon, who left the station at that time and I have to admit I knew nothing about Washington county. However, I did know about the cause — United Cerebral Palsy. The organization – essentially – helps those with physical challenges lead independent lives. Whether it be learning disabilities afflicting young and old, UCP of Southwestern Pennsylvania has provided help to residents in Greene, Fayette as well as Washington county for years.
I started as just the celebrity host for the event, but over the years my involvement has become much deeper. I visit many of the children UCP of Southwestern PA serves in the weeks leading up to the event – often playing games with them and learning about the challenges they face. I have met parents over the years who have benefited from the programs. Through these close encounters, I am able to better relate to the participants in this event what their contributions mean.
This Monday, Lone Pine Golf Club served as host for the 18th straight year. Club pro Terry George and his staff go above and beyond as the venue for this marvelous event. Once again, we raised thousands, had great weather and made some needy families very happy.
So don’t expect to see me the first Monday in June next year — or any succeeding year — as long as I live here. I committed — to an event and to a group of people. Yes, I love to play golf, but this event has never really been about golf. For me, it’s always been about helping others and making a difference. Something I think we accomplish every year.