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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Oh What A Night(s)!

Talk about time flying!  It seems like only a few days ago that I clicked "publish" on my last blog post and yet it was before Christmas!  Between a vacation, the Ranken Jordan Gala, and the PGA Show, January just disappeared.  However it is great to be busy and I would not change the past few weeks for anything.  Sandwiched in between the vacation and the PGA Show was the annual Ranken Jordan Gala.  As always, it was an incredibly uplifting, inspirational, and emotionally moving night.

With May Reynoso at the Ranken Jordan Gala

Each year I look forward to the Gala more than any other night of the year.  When the event starts I know at some point during speeches from Ranken Jordan President & CEO Lauri Tanner and Chief Medical Officer Nick Holekamp that I will be afflicted with sweaty eyes.  This year proved no different.  However the highlight for me of this year's Gala was being fortunate enough to be at the same table with 2 former patients and their families.  Both former patients had been regulars at our weekly junior golf clinics even though they had never touched a club before coming to Ranken Jordan.  One of the girls, May Reynoso, stopped me on the day she was discharged to go home to tell me that learning to play golf was her favorite part of being at Ranken Jordan.  I always look forward to seeing the videos that are put together specifically for the Gala (even though the sweaty eyes affliction promises strikes again during the videos).  This year separate videos were shown about the 2 amazing young ladies I was sitting with.  Please take a few moments to watch them here:

A few short days after the Ranken Jordan Gala I was once again on a plane heading back to Orlando for the PGA Show.  This year at the Show there were approximately 40,000 attendees and over 1,000 exhibitors.  To say it is a huge production is an understatement!  Typically at the PGA Show buying for the golf shop is finished for the year, old connections are re-established, new connections are made, and everybody's feet hurt from all the walking!  However this year included a very special, meaningful, and humbling night.  Every year at the PGA Show U.S. Kids Golf recognizes their Top 50 Kids Coaches.  On rare occasions, 2 times in their 20 year history, they present an additional award --- their Founder's Award.  This year marked the 3rd time they presented it and they chose to recognize me for the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan.  To say I was shocked when I received the phone call would be a gross understatement!  I could never adequately express the feelings I had, and still have, that night as Dan Van Horn, founder of U.S. Kids Golf, made the presentation.  I am eternally grateful to Dan, John Bryan, and the entire U.S. Kids Golf company for their support of the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan.

Having the opportunity to celebrate and share what a special place Ranken Jordan is will always be something I am excited to do.  When that can occur at special events like the annual Gala and the U.S. Kids Top 50 Kids Coaches awards presentation makes even more meaningful.  The response to the Founder's Award has been both heartwarming and overwhelming.  I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about Ranken Jordan to visit their website HERE.  Next year at this time I will be writing about the completion of the expansion to double their capacity to help more kids & more families with more healing & more hope!
Spent a few minutes at the PGA Show talking to Scotty Cameron about designing putters to be used from hospital beds & wheelchairs

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