For those few of you who regularly read this blog you have noticed that it has been quite some time since the last post. This is only partly by design. Multiple times in the past few weeks I have found myself in front of the computer typing away only to delete what I typed and start over. The last time I sat down with the intent of writing a new post I noticed something that I had not seen before. Over the years of writing this blog I have put up 99 posts. Upon realizing the next post would be #100, I decided to wait a bit longer and put up the new post on May 10, 2016. Many of you likely do not know why this date has special significance to Ranken Jordan Community Program Director Janine Roe and me. Five years ago on May 10, 2011, we held our first junior golf clinic at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital. I think it is very safe to say that neither one of us had a clue what our golf program would evolve into and the significant impact it would have in the therapy of thousands of kids and their families.
I recall walking through the doors of Ranken Jordan for the first time just over 5 years ago. The purpose of that visit was to meet with Janine to discuss the possibility of starting a junior golf program. The second I walked in I immediately knew Ranken Jordan was a very special place. After talking for a very short time we both knew this program was going to happen and just a few weeks later the first of our year round weekly junior golf clinic was in the books. Since that first clinic 5 years ago there have been plenty of smiles, laughter, fun, tears of joy, great golf shots, and wonderful memories. Friendships have been developed with the kids, their families, and the Ranken Jordan staff. The experiences, relationships, and memories I have been so fortunate to have because of this program are all treasured. I have said it many times before that there is no better feeling than putting a smile on the face of a child. Through this program we have been able to do that every week.
A program like this could not attain this level of success without the
help and support of a wide array of people. Obviously the Ranken Jordan
staff & volunteers, kids, and their families are vitally important
to the success of the program. Local PGA Professionals have graciously
volunteered their time to teach the kids and our Gateway PGA Section has
been incredibly generous. U.S. Kids Golf has been a great partner to
the program and the kids have certainly benefited by being able to use
the best junior golf equipment made. I have no doubt that without the
support of these wonderful people and organizations (as well as all of
those that my simple mind has omitted) that we would not be celebrating
our 5 year anniversary and looking forward to many more years of golf
for the kids at Ranken Jordan!
There is not a day that goes by that I am not truly grateful for having the opportunity to start the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan. The trust and faith placed in me by the staff at Ranken Jordan to work and play with the kids is very humbling. Spending so much time with so many incredible kids and their families is indescribable. I could not begin to list all of them as each one has had their own special impact on me. Watching their progress from week to week is mind-blowing. To know that golf has played a small role in the physical, mental, emotional, and social improvement for so many kids is unreal. The last 5 years at Ranken Jordan have been nothing short of amazing and I cannot wait to see what the next 5 years will hold. Mere words cannot adequately describe what the time at Ranken Jordan has meant to me. To everyone involved with our junior golf program . . . thank you, thank you, thank you.