Star athletes play golf to raise money for local kids
You can call him a pro golfer in the making or a cancer survivor. Either way, six-year-old Henry Hance credits the Niswonger Children's Hospital for being well and able to tee off at their annual golf classic.
"If you have an emergency of sickness, I think you might want to go there, because they can fix you right up!" said Hance.
And fixing children is exactly the reason why dozens of celebrity athletes, including Tennessee legend and Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning, were there to take a swing.
"It truly is a special event any time you come out, play some golf with some great people, and have some great fellowship, but also [to] raise money for a great cause," Manning said.
News 5 discovered this year, the tournament is breaking records. "[The] final count's not in, but we've netted over $300,000. That'll go toward our pediatrics group and our oncology," said Scott Niswonger, chief benefactor of Niswonger Children's Hospital.
Niswonger told News 5, the more money that's pumped into the children's hospital, the more patients can be treated here close to home rather than having to travel hundreds of miles away."
"Our families can stay here. They family unit won't be split up. The mom and dad won't have to go to Memphis," Niswonger explained. That's because the hospital is one of five of the only St. Jude affiliate hospitals.
To one of the NFL's most legendary quarterbacks, Dan Marino says this kind of care to kids is something he's proud to help with. "I have a foundation that we do things for kids at children's hospitals, so I realize how important it is," Marino told News 5.
But we found out, these athletes aren't the only ones raising money.
Jacob Buckner, a Niswonger patient battling cancer, charged 50 cents for people to rub his head when he lost his hair during cancer treatment to buy a blanket warmer for St. Jude. He told News 5 he raised $2,410, giving those with the deepest of pockets a run for their money. "Kids are so resilient, and it's great to see. I think we can learn so many lessons from them," said PGA golfer Corey Pavin.
But for Henry Hance, lessons are less his concern. He's staying focused on making sure all kids have the resources to recover like he has.
'The more money [the hospital gets] maybe they could buy more medicine for more kids that are in need," Hance added.
Other celebrities that took to the greens include Jason Whitten, Phil Fulmer, Bruce Pearl, Loren Roberts, and Larry Mize, among many others.
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