Welcome to the 6th annual Amazing Gracie’s Golf Scramble! Over the past 6 years we’ve experienced just about every kind of weather you can imagine at our golf tournament. We’ve had sun, clouds, rain, fog, wind, and even snow , its also been pretty cold, super hot, and also very pleasant. Today we were faced with not the greatest weather conditions, But really no matter what the weather has been the participants always have smiles on their faces and love in their heart for our foundation.
I can’t believe what this foundation and all of our supporters have helped us accomplish in the past 6 years, it’s absolutely amazing:
• First let me start with today. I’m not sure if you realize how amazing today has been: Today we had over 160 golfers, over 20 volunteers, over 100 donations from some amazing people and businesses, and sponsorships totaling over $11,000 before the tournament even began!
• Because of our increase in sponsorships, donations and grants over these 6 years we have now expanded our services and events from Albany to Syracuse. Which means we are able to directly impact and help many more families who are struggling emotionally and financially with their child’s diagnosis. To date we have helped over 300 families through our Easter and Spring basket events at Albany Med and Golisano, our backpack event at the RMH, countless gifts and volunteer hours to the hospitals and RMH and by individual financial assistance or memory making vacations.
Not only have we accomplished so much, but along the way I’ve learned a few things on our golf day. In our 6 years of golfing I’ve realized
• Just how fun it is to drive a golf cart! Who doesn’t love zipping around in a little white box with no speed limit, no lanes to drive in and the wind blowing in your face. Especially when you’re cruising along with your friends, a cold drink and the sun in your face. Which brings me to my next point…
• Each year Ive also started to realize why men golf so often. It is truly the best kept men’s secret there is. They might act like it’s no fun and they have to go golfing again for this or that, but once I got out on the course I realized what a blast it is! Who wouldn’t want to have a day all to yourself with your friends, a cold drink and lots of laughs? Sorry guys, the secret is out!
• 6 years later my team has finally figured out that we should be golfing with a foursome and more than 1 set of golf clubs and we should prob. at least try to golf all 18 holes! If you ever get stuck behind us or see us out on the course you will most likely get a good laugh from us, but thats what today is about, right?
• But most importantly I loved seeing all of your smiles, hearing the laughter and watching the great interactions of all the people in the tournament that have traveled from near and far.
Over the years I have also realized that we are not here for Gracie, but instead we are here in memory of Gracie. She touched all our lives in one way or another and we are paying it forward by being amazing in memory of her. What we are here for today is the kids who are battling cancer or a life threatening illness. We are here to support them, both emotionally and financially. The giving hearts of all the people in this pavilion/room and all those who couldn’t be here today continue to amaze us by helping us achieve this goal.
Each year I state our motto and I ask you to be amazing. So without further ado…
• Be Amazing like Ronnie Pizer and his family. His family of 7 was rocked to the core when last year on May 27th Ronnie was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor in his kidney. The everyday normalcy of life took a turn with this diagnosis. Ronnie and his family were going to have to spend many, many months traveling back and forth to the hospital for Ronnie to receive 19 rounds of chemotherapy and surgery. As you can imagine this was a very scary time for the family with lots of ups and downs, but today we are happy to report that Ronnie is in remission and is Cancer Free! Ronnie’s family can you please stand up.
• Be Amazing like Lilliana. Lilliana was diagnosed May 31st last year with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. With this diagnosis another family was shaken to the core and life was about to change for them. But Lilliana and her mom were ready for the fight. Through all of the tears, procedures, hospital visits and stays Lilliana has been very brave and Lilliana’s brave mommy has been by her side through it all. They also have traveled the long road back and forth many many times to Syracuse. Lilliana has had so many chemo treatments we’ve lost count, she has had 9 hospital stays over the past year, and has had many ups and downs. Lilliana is an amazingly strong little girl that never gives up and neither does her mom. Today we are happy to report that Lilliana is in remission but her treatments will continue and hopefully end in 2018. So lets keep Lilliana in our thoughts and prayers… Lilliana and Jaime can you please stand up.
-Because of all of you Amazing Gracie’s Gift has been able to help support both of these families! Ronnie’s family just went on a memory making trip in February and Lilliana will be taking her memory making trip this summer.
I also want to remember some of our other families and places too
• Be Amazing like the RMH of Albany. A place that provides comfort, hope, love, and support for so many families. The RMH now has more room for love in their new house and can hold up to 25 families. One of those rooms was built in Gracie’s name. It is beautiful, warm, comforting and totally amazing.
• Be Amazing like Garrett who is a few months old and just had a life saving liver transplant.
• Be Amazing like Amelia who is 3 ½ years old and has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
• Be Amazing like 5 year old Jackson who has had some major GI surgeries and has been enduring pain for quite some time.
• Be Amazing like Kelsey, who is 2 ½ years old and is fighting cancer.
• Be Amazing like Landon who is 12 years old and has heart failure.
• Be Amazing today and always for all the kids who are suffering and for all the kids who have lost the fight.
• And lastly, my motto and what keeps me going on a daily basis – Be Amazing like Gracie.
Thank you for the past six years. Let’s keep it going and make it to 10 years!