Golfing for a Cause Golfing for a Cause

Friends of Make-A-Wish Foundation in CNY tee'd up to help make wishes come true.

By Erron Franklin SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York held the 32nd Open at the Timber Banks Golf course in Baldwinsville. The event is a major fundraiser to support the organizations efforts to grant the wishes of critically ill children in the region.

“I received a Make-A-Wish last April and and Make-A-Wish was an amazing experience,” 15-year-old Harry McClain said. “And I just want other kids to be able to have that experience.”

His wish was to attend a championship PGA event last spring. The Foundation granted his wish and Harry says it helped while going through surgery.

He’s paying it forward by participating in this year’s tournament, hoping that the proceeds will help to grant the wishes of other children who are just like him.  He joined the adults on the green, many of whom have been annual supporters, according to event organizers.

Kate Veley is the senior director of Individual and Corporate Philanthropy for Make-A-Wish Foundation Central New York. She re-counted her first experience as a witness to a wish being granted and what drew her to the organization.

“I got to see a young man’s face just light up when he found out he was going to the NCAA tournament I got to see the impact it had on his family and the situation that they have been dealing with for quite some time,” she said. “I also got to see the ripple affect her wishes so much more than that child in that family impacts their entire community.”

She says there isn’t a better job in the world that she could imagine herself doing.

This Make-A-Wish Open golf tournament is expected to bring in more than $35,000 to support the wishes of those children in the 15 counties in which the Central New York chapter serves.

Erron: Golfers from across Central New York gathered to play 18 holes for charity at the the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s 32nd Open.

Despite heavy winds and cloudy skies dozens of people hopped into their golf carts and hit the green.

The event raises about 35-thousand dollars to help grant the wishes of critically ill children.

Organizers say that seeing a wish granted allows one to truly understand its impact.

Kate Veley: I got to see a young man’s face just light up when he found out he was going to the NCAA tournament. I got to see the impact it had on his family and a situation they had been dealing with for quite sometime. I also got to see that ripple effect. A wish is so much more than that child and that family. It impacts that entire community.

There is also a community of golfers who return each year to support the foundations efforts, fellowship and bid on some pretty cool items in a silent auction.

Erron: One of the participants in today’s golf tournament has a special connection to the Make-A-Wish Foundation here in Central New York.

Harry McClain: I received a make-a-wish last April and I’m speaking tonight at the dinner

Harry is one of the hundreds of kids who benefited from the support of last years the golf open. So why has he decided to pay it forward?

Harry McClain: Because the make-a-wish opportunity was an amazing experience.

Erron: Once a kid hoping for a wish, now on the green with the adults helping to grant the wishes of others.

Related Articles