Cunningham would like to extend a special THANK YOU to the golfers, sponsors, volunteers and special guests who helped the 33rd Annual Kendall Gill Golf Benefit raise $47,090 in total proceeds to support the critical needs of the 794 youth and families the agency serves.
A staple in our Champaign-Urbana community, this event brings families and friends together to support Cunningham's vision to see every child thrive.
“The key to our longevity is the cause – 33 years of giving back to kids that really need it," Kendall said. "That’s why you have golfers who have been here for 33 years and a lot of guys who do it every year or have been here for 10, 15 years. That’s why it has lasted so long, we’re doing something that is needed.”
As we, and the News-Gazette, recently shared, supporters like Dick McDade have been part of the golf benefit since the beginning and it has become something very special for him and his family.
“The best part is not only that we’re benefitting Cunningham, but that I get to play a game I enjoy with people I love,” Dick told the News-Gazette. ”This outing has brought so many people together for a great cause.”
Among the many others who have been a part of the Kendall Gill Golf Benefit for many years are Mary Henson and her late husband Lou Henson, the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame Coach. Mary has continued to attend the outing each year and this year she came with a special mission of her own. Having heard about Dick's longtime involvement with the benefit, Mary made a point of tracking him down on the course.
Mary walked over to Dick who was sitting in a golf cart and introduced herself.
"Are you Richard? Mary asked. "I am Mary Henson, Lou Henson’s widow, and I read about you and your commitment to this golf outing and I just wanted to meet you."
Dick’s daughter, Amy was awestruck as she watch the heartwarming interaction.
"I have something for you," Mary continued. "This is Lou’s golf umbrella and I know he’d want you to have it as recognition for your support of his kids…at Cunningham."
Richard thanked her and the two chatted a bit more about the outing and Cunningham kids.
The golf benefit is also a family affair for Kendall and his wife Wendy. Their sons Phoenix and Kota have joined them every year and have practically grown up before our eyes. Attending this year's event, however, was a different than in past years as it was the first time the boys actually played in the outing as part of their dad's foursome. And by all accounts, they held their own!
And a final THANK YOU to all of our wonderful volunteers, with a special shoutout to the Kiwanis Club of Champaign-Urbana!
Like a big family, over 25 Kiwanis Club members brought a helping hand and smile to help with our pre-event preparation, setup, foursomes, prizes, registration and teardown.
Our Cunningham family extends well beyond our staff and campus because of the commitment, love and support of our community and friends like you. Your contributions allow us to provide healing care to those who need it most.
We are blessed and grateful.