LUDLOW, Vt. – Four young boys ages 8 to 13 played 42 holes of golf for approximately 10 hours to raise over $1,400 for a local charity.
Two sets of brothers, Aiden Garvey, 11; Cooper Garvey, 8; Noah Rourke, 13; and Grayson Rourke, 11, set out at Okemo Valley Golf Club Wednesday morning, July 31 at 7 a.m. to raise money for the Be Brave for Life Foundation. Their goal was to play as many holes as they could from sun up to sun down to raise money for the cause. Each boy went out and got sponsors who pledged either a flat donation for the day or a per hole pledge.
The four boys together lasted from 7 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m. with just a short break for lunch, playing – and mostly walking – 42 holes. Cooper Garvey, the youngest player, continued on his own for eight more holes to reach 50 holes played.
The approximately $1,400 amount raised also included $300 dollars raised by the Okemo Valley Men’s League Tuesday night as well as additional Facebook pledges that came through on behalf of the boys’ efforts. According to Chris Garvey, Aiden and Cooper’s dad, “I’m glad they were able to raise money for a great cause.”
Chris Garvey credits Josh Rourke, the father of Noah and Grayson, as the catalyst behind the fundraiser. He reached out to Chris Garvey and asked if the Garvey boys would join his boys in the cause. All four boys are part of the local PGA junior league and have golfed together regularly. The Rourke boys are students at Flood Brook Elementary School and the Garvey boys attend Ludlow Elementary.
Chris Garvey praised Michael Santa Maria of Okemo Valley Golf Club for allowing the event to take place by waiving all greens fees for the boys, helping to organize the event, and offering carts for grandparents and friends to help support the boys while out on the course. Other kids that were part of the PGA Junior League came out to support the boys throughout the day.
Aiden Garvey admitted he was tired after his 42 holes but also proud of what they had all accomplished. He believes this will become a yearly fundraising event.
The Founder of the Brave for Life Foundation, Riley Callen, is a 16-year-old Burr & Burton student who has had three surgeries over the last seven years to remove two brainstem tumors. According to the website, The Be Brave for Life Foundation works to improve the quality of life for those affected by cerebral cavernous malformations and non-cancerous brain tumors by raising awareness and funding innovative research.
Since its launch in 2015, the foundation has received national recognition for their efforts including being one of the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award winners for 2018; The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes in September 2017; and the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in February 2017. For more information, visit www.bebrave.life.