THE PLAYERS Championship presented a check donation of $50,000 to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and Camp No Limits (CNL) Golf Tournament on Monday, Oct. 1 at the Golf Club at South Hampton in St. Augustine.
The charity was initially expecting to receive $25,000, but Jared Rice, the executive director of THE PLAYERS, surprised the organization by presenting a check for $50,000 instead.
As part of the presentation, the CAF and CNL Golf Tournament also presented a wheelchair for basketball to Daniel Phillips, an 11-year-old boy who was born with a congenital clubfoot, absence of fibula and hip dysplasia dislocation, all in his right side. His foot was amputated when he was 13 months old, and he was fit with his first prosthetic leg when he was 2 years old. He had his last amputation at the knee when he was 4 years old. Now healthy and happy, he is a big sports fan and thanks to Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation, he was introduced to wheelchair basketball.
CAF provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CNL provides camps for children with limb loss, and education, mentorship and support to these children and their families. The annual golf tournament, started by Ponte Vedra residents Jim and Carolyn Houston nine years ago, benefits both organizations, as well as the HEAL Foundation, Angelwood, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Tesori Family Foundation, 50 Legs, the Never Say Never Foundation and Giving to Fly.
Inspired to raise money for people who give to others, the Houstons started the golf tournament after their son Tim, an above-the-knee amputee, received his first grant from CAF when he 6 or 7 years old. Since its founding, their foundation has donated over $350,000 to other charities.
CAF/CNL volunteer Tera Lageman introduced THE PLAYERS to the annual golf tournament after being involved for several years, and she said the donation will be a gamechanger.
“They are going to be able to take that money and help dozens of families in our area and beyond,” she said. “It’s pretty cool that I get to be part of something like that.”
Jim Houston, who is the general manager of the Golf Club at South Hampton, said THE PLAYERS donation proved to him that good things come to people who do good for others.
“When people understand the cause of what we raise money for, your heart is your guide at that point,” he said. “I think it made an impact for the folks at THE PLAYERS today. And I can tell you I’ll never forget it.”