Callyn is the 5-year-old daughter of Mike and Kim Stanley, who have been friends with Mic and I going back to our college years at KU. Callyn was diagnosed with a rare pediatric eye cancer, Rhetinoblastoma, a month before her 3rd birthday.
During her fight, Mike and Kim learned pediatric cancer is the #1 disease that takes lives of children in the United States and that pediatric cancer research is vastly underfunded.
This year, Callyn and her family stepped up to bring hope, awareness and to raise much-needed money through the launch of her annual fundraising golf tournament.
As this was the first year of the tournament and knowing that our friends Mike and Kim are not only busy working parents to two beautiful daughters (Callyn and her older sister Taylor), but also NOT experienced event professionals, I was eager and happy to offer to help them with the planning.
It was an honor for me to give of my time in such a fulfilling way and for such a deserving cause.
The event sold out early and was host to 144 total golfers. Because it was a fundraiser for pediatric childhood cancer research, the day incorporated many fun elements not seen at a typical golf tournament including:
- Attendance by local young ‘heroes’ fighting cancer who mingled with the golfers pre-round wearing gold ‘hero’ capes. (Gold is the color for pediatric childhood cancer.)
- A golf cart brightly decorated with colorful balloons for the kid ‘heroes’ to ride around in with parents.
- In addition to the typical tournament contests and awards, there were some kid-friendly and fun contests like Best Selfie (which Mic won of course) shared on social media using #Hope and a prize to the golfer who hit their shot “Closest to Callyn” (instead of closest to the pin), where a specific hole displayed a large photo of Callyn.
- A visit by Slugger from the Kansas City Royals at the start of the event to delight kids and adults.
- A fantastic silent auction which had items for adults and kids to enjoy.
It was a great day filled with joy, laughter and most of all, HOPE. It was my great pleasure to be able to help the Stanley family and I will happily offer my time and talents again next year!
And I’m happy to share that the event raised $51,715 for Braden’s Hope! WOW!
Want to help? Make a donation to Braden’s Hope.
Mic recorded a Facebook Live video where Mike Stanley spoke from the heart to everyone in attendance before the event kicked off. Check it out.