Saturday, May 2, 2015

Her Own Trophy Case

Well, it seems like it's time to build Grace her very own trophy case.  After all, she came home with her very first one today!

For the last few years, Kyle has covered a special invitational golf tournament at Indian Springs Golf Course, where some of the area's top golfers compete for cash prizes. Kyle has worked closely with the event's organizer, Jim Odle, on before and after coverage for the paper of this successful tournament.

Today's adventures took us to Indian Springs Golf Course, where Grace was the honorary starter.
As they started planning this year's event, Jim asked Kyle if Grace could be the tournament's honorary starter.  Once again, we were so honored and humbled in the way the community has reached out to our family and allowed Grace some truly amazing opportunities.

And fortunately, Jim was agreeable to Grace's schedule, allowing her to be the honorary starter of the second round, instead of the first. Why you might ask? Because the first round officially teed off at 7:30 a.m., and everyone in our house was still in bed!

Grace got her very first trophy at today's tourney!
Although, we didn't really know what to expect, we headed out to the golf course, just outside Coffeen, around lunchtime.  The food smelled great, so we had some lunch while we waited for the golfers to come in.  We loved the food, and the club's owners, Wade and Natalie Fuller, even treated us to lunch.  They also donated to the INAD study, and after donations from the golfers too, they gave us more than $500.  We continue to stand in awe of the generosity of this awesome community.

While we were waiting to finish up with our lunch, one of Grace's physical therapists, John Mekala, came over to greet us.  He was playing in the tournament that day, and said he hoped Grace would be his good luck charm.

Although she was a little skeptical he was going to make her work, Grace still had a big smile for one of her physical therapists, who was golfing in the tourney.
After lunch, Jim invited us to the practice putting green for a special ceremony. He presented Grace with her first-ever trophy, naming her the 2015 Honorary Champion of the tourney. Oh, and the trophy is pretty awesome too.  

Then, he asked Kyle to help Grace with a putt to officially start the second round.  They came really close to sinking it into the hole, but it rolled just to the side.  Everyone cheered, and we felt so honored to be there.

Grace and Kyle came REALLY close to making their opening putt!
Before taking off for their second round, many of the golfers wished us luck on our journey and said they would be praying for us.  We didn't know many of the tourney's golfers, but we are so grateful to each and every one of them.

Just before heading home, the Fullers brought us a golf cart to take a spin around the golf course.  With the wind in her hair, I truly think that was one of Grace's favorite parts of the outing, as she giggled and giggled.

Grace had time to pose with her fan club before we left too.
The tourney wrapped up this evening, and Kyle called Jim for the final results. The two talked briefly about the tournament, and Jim told Kyle he was one of the winning golfers and donated part of his winnings to the INAD study. Some of the other golfers did as well.  

Our humble thanks to ALL those who have joined us on this "Grace-filled journey." That's what I call a real hole-in-one.


1 comment:

  1. I am so happy to find your blog about your sweet little girl. What a sweetheart she is! My son, Landon, is also 3 years old and was recently diagnosed with INAD. I am still learning about this disease and meet with his doctors later this month. We live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Any information you could give me about INAD, support groups, research, etc. would be so appreciated. You could e-mail me at with any information. I would love to connect with other families. I love my sweet Landon boy so much just as I can tell you love your sweet Grace. Prayers & support to your family!
    -Ashley Caputo