Thursday, May 12, 2016


For the past several years, Kyle has been working with Jim Odle on covering a competitive golf outing at Indian Springs Golf Course, just outside Coffeen. The tournament has grown, and has now become part of the Metro Cup, drawing some of top amateur golfers in this area.

Although I had read Kyle's stories, I didn't know much about it, until last year, when Jim told Kyle he would be collecting money for INAD research at the tournament, and asked if we could bring Grace out for the event.  She would have the chance to be the honorary starter, and even got her own trophy!

Helping Grace sink her putt with her brand new putter!
As the spring golfing season got underway, Jim told Kyle that he and fellow golfers donated $650 to INAD research at the first of the Metro Cup golf outings at Oak Brook Golf Course in Edwardsville. The winner of the tourney that day, Jake Erickson, donated $250 of his winnings back to INAD research.  Talk about awesome!

Hanging out with Jim Odle and Jake Erickson.
Jim asked Kyle if Grace could once again be this year's honorary starter at the Indian Springs tourney on May 7, and we were excited to go. However, when the morning arrived, Kyle ended up being sick, and didn't get to join us.  So, Grace and I grabbed Grandma and Grandpa Galer and headed out to the golf course, where Wade and Natalie Fuller treated us to lunch.

Even though the golf tournament starts bright and early in the morning, we asked if Grace could start the second round after lunch, since it takes us awhile to get going in the morning.  So, we enjoyed watching part of a Blues playoff game while we waited for the golfers to finish their first round and get some lunch too.

Dr. John stopped by to say hi to Grace.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was getting to see one of Grace's physical therapists, John Mekala, who was one of the golfers in the tournament. She eventually warmed up to him, once she was certain he wasn't going to make her work!

After everyone got back to the clubhouse, Jim introduced Grace to everyone and passed out gracelets to any of the golfers who wanted them. I got a chance to tell everyone thanks for their donations, and we got to meet Jake Erickson and get our picture taken with he and Jim. Then Jim presented Grace with her very own putter, as well as a dozen golf balls signed by many of the players that day.

Grace and I got to thank everyone for supporting INAD.
And then it was time for Grace to be the honorary starter. I'm not the world's greatest golfer, and it was Kyle who helped Grace last year, so I was a little nervous.  Jim picked out the golf ball that he signed for Grace, and thankfully only placed it about six inches from the hole on the putting greens. And together, Grace and I sank her putt!  

It was so neat to see the golfers wearing their gracelets!
Before we left, I had to take a few photos for the paper since Kyle couldn't come, so Grace hung out with mom and dad and enjoyed the sunshine. Jim even asked me take a photo of him wearing his gracelet, which I think he plans to wear at other tourney events this year.

In the end, Jim presented us with a total of around $1,500 from the first two golf outings of the Metro Cup, including a $300 donation from Indian Springs. We have already put it up in our research fund, which has already grown to $15,000 again. 

Hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa Galer.
There are days it can feel hopeless on this journey, but other times, I stand in awe of the many people who share our story, our journey and our hope. And all together, we will find a way.


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