Everyone was a winner at Wednesday’s Camp Hope golf tournament.
Camp Hope, sponsored by the American Cancer Society for kids who are fighting cancer, brought most of its young campers to the StoneRidge club for a few rounds of golf followed by lunch. Golfers Dade Cannon, 7, of Great Bend, and his 6 1/2-year-old friend Alec Barber from Kansas City, Mo., both reported making a "hole in one" on the 18th hole.
The scoring was sometimes generous and there were plenty of prizes and freebies. Six-year-old Tessa McKee from Wichita received an Aflac duck for getting the ball closest to the pin on the fourth hole.
A record turnout at Camp Hope meant a record number of golfers, said Jane Isern, one of the tournament organizers. Fortunately, a number of volunteers return each year for this event. "Some traveled a couple of hours to be here," Isern said.
"We had a good time thing morning," said DJ Baird, a volunteer from Hoisington. "It was just wonderful." She and several others commented on the pleasant morning weather.
"The kids really enjoy it," Baird added. "I think they like driving the golf cart."
Driving is allowed at the discretion of the adults with each team, but it’s one reason the tournament is always a hit with the campers. Most haven’t had much golfing experience outside of Camp Hope.
Katelyn Bryant from Dawn, Mo., was one of the golfers. She will be 15 years old when she celebrates 10 years as a cancer survivor on Sept. 11.
"It was all right," Bryant said of the golfing. It’s not a sport she partakes in regularly, but she enjoyed it. "My dad and his dad used to play a lot."
Bryant is an example of a Camp Hope camper who won’t let illness keep her from pursuing her dreams. "I’m going to go to college and try to be a writer or a fashion designer," she said. She’s already written two novels, published online at www.wattpad.com. (The latest is "Cracked," the first in a planned trilogy of romance/murder mysteries.
Her favorite camp activities are "meeting people and swimming."