by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — The goal of the game is to get the lowest score. But for participants of a tournament hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Logansport at Dykeman Park Golf Course Wednesday, their drive was to raise as much money as possible for the Riley Children’s Foundation.
With more than 70 golfers coming out on the unusually warm September afternoon, including Professional Golfers’ Association President and Logansport native Ted Bishop, the club surpassed its goal of raising $10,000 for the Indianapolis-based foundation.
There were 1,038 outpatient visits and 89 admissions and observation cases from Cass County children to the Riley Hospital for Children in 2011, according to information provided by the foundation.
“Let yourself know you’re helping children from this area,” Indiana District of Kiwanis Governor Ted Sullivan told attendees of the lunch before the tournament.
The event Wednesday was held in conjunction with the “Path to a Cure” campaign started by Kiwanis clubs across Indiana four years ago to raise $1 million for the Riley Hospital for Children/Wells Center Pediatric Diabetes Research Program in Indianapolis to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Riley Children’s Foundation Gift Officer Mandy Pietrykowski expressed her thanks at the event.
“We would not exist if it wasn’t for individuals like yourself,” she said.
Before everyone hopped in their golf carts to set out on the course, Bishop was presented with a “Tee to the City” plaque from Logansport Kiwanis members.
His father, the late Jim Bishop, and grandfather, the late Bill Bishop, were both diagnosed with diabetes in their 50s, he said.
“I’ve seen the effect it can have,” he said. “I have a very thorough appreciation of what we’re trying to do here today.”
Bishop went on to recall his time in Key Club, which is supported by Kiwanis, while enrolled at Logansport High School.
“It was always very fun being around business leaders in the community,” he said.
The 38th PGA president said he nurtured his love of the game working summers at Logansport’s former Rolling Hills Par 3 Golf Course, although he never picked up a club until after high school.
After graduating from Purdue University, where he studied agronomy and turf management, Bishop went on to become the superintendent and club pro at the Phil Harris Golf Course in Linton. He stayed there for 17 years before heading to Franklin, where he started The Legends Golf Club.
Bishop said he felt the tournament was so important for him to attend that he respectfully turned down a request from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff to hold a PGA function on the same day in New York.
“I simply said, ‘That’s the one day I can’t do it,’” he said. “‘I totally respect the governor’s schedule, but I have to go to my hometown.’”
During the lunch before the tournament, Bishop said he was looking forward to playing at Dykeman again.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s always fun to come back here and play. It’s short but challenging. It’s a course I can play every day and honestly never get tired of playing.”
Kiwanis’ “Path to a Cure” campaign is scheduled to conclude at the end of this month. According to the Indiana District of Kiwanis’ website, as of Sept, 5, an additional $57,659.37 is needed to reach the $1 million goal.
Buffalo Wild Wings also donated a percentage of the costs of dinners Wednesday night to Kiwanis’ contribution to the foundation.
Kyle Smith, a Kiwanis Club of Logansport member, said the grand total of funds raised was still being tallied Thursday morning, but was able to confirm the club had exceeded its $10,000 goal.
The funds will go toward the recruitment of additional physician scientists, equipment and other resources, according to information provided by the foundation.
Indiana District of Kiwanis first began assisting the Riley Children’s Foundation two years before it opened its doors in 1924, Sullivan said, when clubs across the state raised $150,000 to help build the original hospital. Since then, its fundraising efforts have contributed toward the addition of a helipad, pediatric trauma center, mobile intensive care unit, renovations in surgical units and $1 million toward the hospital’s Simon Family Tower.
The team from Gundrum Funeral Home won the tournament with a score of 13 under par.
“It was a great day and a lot of great people,” said Kiwanis Club of Logansport President Tom Nelson. “My hat is off to my fellow Kiwanians who made this happen. I couldn’t be everywhere at once and they stepped up to the plate. I think we had a great day.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riley visits by the numbers Outpatient visits to Riley Hospital for Children by county in 2011 1,038 Cass 334 Carroll 481 White 242 Pulaski 305 Fulton 607 Miami 1,828 Howard Source: Riley Children's Foundation