100 Hole Hike for The Stuttering Foundation
By Matthew Sander
My legs were aching and the summer sun had taken its toll. At this point I had walked approximately 34 miles, amassed 487 strokes, worn three outfits and four pairs of socks, sweated through 6 golf gloves, and made more bogeys than I care to remember. I was on the tee of my 108th hole, and I was thinking about my son, the reason I was about to take my 488th shot of the day.
The idea for this pursuit was developed by Jim Colton of Wheaton, IL. Jim is member of Ballyneal Golf Club in Holyoke, CO and wanted to raise some funds for a caddie at the club, Ben Cox, who had become paralyzed from the waist down after suffering injuries in a skiing accident. Jim decided to accept pledges toward his goal of walking 100 holes in one day at his golf club. His effort began gaining steam and when all was said and done he raised over $100,000 in pledges for Ben Cox and walked an astounding 155 holes in one day!
Jim’s success led him to establish the One Divot Foundation which sought to make the Hundred Hole Hike a worldwide network of golf marathons with the objective of benefitting numerous worthwhile charities. After hearing of Jim’s ambitious plan I knew that I wanted to hike in the Chicago area at Flossmoor Country Club for The Stuttering Foundation.
Being a stutterer I know the anxiety and shame that comes from this confounding affliction. As an adult, I’ve developed ways to cope and speaking to groups or individuals isn’t the fear inducing chore that it was when I was young. Now I am a father and my 4-year-old son, Liam, has exhibited stuttering patterns for some time. Thanks to the information and guidance provided by The Stuttering Foundation, we were able to make the decision to enroll him in early childhood speech therapy. His progress over the past year has been wonderful to witness and The Stuttering Foundation has played a large part in that success. Hiking for The Stuttering Foundation gave me an opportunity to give back to this wonderful organization.
I am happy to report that I was able to raise approximately $2,100 in pledges for The Stuttering Foundation. As a group, the Hundred Hole Hikers have raised nearly $265,000 for countless charities including not only The Stuttering Foundation, but also Els For Autism, The Evans Scholars Foundation, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and many others.
After thinking of my son on the eleventh tee, my 488th swing was one of my best, and I was able to birdie my 108th hole of the day. That is six full rounds of golf…walking. With my wife by my side as my caddie, I finished 113 holes. I can’t wait for next year’s event, and I plan to walk even farther for The Stuttering Foundation.
If you are interested in donating or would like to learn more about the Hundred Hole Hike and the causes that it supports, please visit HundredHoleHike.com
From the Fall 2012 Newsletter