Birdies for Cancer: Helping local cancer patients one swing at a time

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT
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(WBNG) - While the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open is a weekend filled with professional golf for Broome County, since the tournament’s inception, it has also been about charity.

This year, there is a new way to give to your community with a fun golf spin, Birdies for Cancer.

A “birdie” is a score of one stroke lower than “par” for any golf hole on the course. “Par” is the normal expected score of a golf professional on any given hole. For example, on a par four hole, a score of three is a birdie.

How this fundraiser will work is you make a pledge per birdie. Your donation will then be based off of the total number of birdies made by PGA TOUR Champions Players during the competitive rounds of the 2022 DICK’S Sporting Goods Open which is from Aug. 19 to 21.

Every dollar raised through the initiative will go to the UHS and Lourdes Hospital Foundations.

Local resident Thomas Stuart Hall is currently battling stage three colon cancer.

“Once you have been told you have cancer, your life comes to a stop,” said Hall.

Between surgery and months of chemotherapy, he had another worry: His finances. That’s when the UHS Hospital Foundation offered a helping hand.

“In May I realized I had a serious problem,” said Hall, “The foundation was able to get me help and cover my rent for two months.”

The UHS and Lourdes Hospital Foundations support their respective hospitals and community in a number of ways. One of those is by helping cancer patients with rent, transportation, electric bills, groceries and more.

“Being able to assist those patients with those types of things helps relieve some anxiety,” said Development Manager for the UHS Foundation Andrea Mastronardi, “It helps relieve a nervousness and lets them concentrate on recovery.”

“This endeavor will help those people during a very difficult time and give them that hope to get through their treatment for their ultimate cure,” said President of the Lourdes Hospital Foundation Robert O’Connell.

“I think it’s a fun way to make a contribution to something that’s really important,” said CEO of Security Mutual Kirk Gravely.

The two hospital foundations receive every penny of the donations collected in this program, plus a bonus match of 10% by Security Mutual Life Insurance.

“Every dollar that is given makes Sock Out Cancer be even more fulfilling in its mission of what we’re trying to do,” said Gravely.

A mission of helping people like Thomas, whose life has been forever changed by cancer.

“I have all this kind of powerlessness and need for support,” said Hall. ”So, if you can go out and you can support people in my position please do it.”

Birdie pledges can be made through Aug. 18 at midnight, but flat donations will be accepted through the end of the tournament on Aug. 21.

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