The Principal Charity Classic lived up to it’s name this morning as the Champions Tour event opened a week of activities by presenting a ten thousand dollar check to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. The money will be used to purchase two Starlight Fun Center gaming units to be used by young patients.
Mary O’Keefe, who chairs the board for the golf tournament says they usually hand out the contributions a at the end, but they wanted to start out with one this time to be able to talk more about the goal of the tournament. The tournament doled out more than a million dollars to charity this past year. “We were charity of the year last year and we were so thrilled. We passed a million dollars, so that was a big celebration, 5 million dollars overall,” she says. The charity of the year award came with $30,000 to get them started this year.
They work with Blank as a partner with the tournament, and Blank Children’s Hospital President David Stark says the new gaming systems will benefit hundreds of patients.
“That gift is going to have an impact on families that most of the people who have provided the money for this event will never meet, but they’ve done it out of the kindness of their hearts,” Stark says.
Stark says the gaming systems help young kids going through a traumatic situation. He says he is scared going through surgery as an adult, and this system will help make the anxiety for a 9-year-old patients go away as they prepare for surgery. Stark says kids need to be entertained even when they are in the hospital. “We mandate play, that’s one of the things that makes a children’s hospital different. When you come here you don’t stop being a kid,” Stark says.
The first round of this year’s tournament is Friday at the Wakonda Club.