For the past 34 years, the Kendall Gill Golf Benefit has almost been a summertime rite of passage.
"It’s just not summer until we play golf with Kendall," Cunningham President/CEO Marlin Livingston said.
On Monday, July 10, 2023, we could not have asked for a better day at the University of Illinois Golf Course in Savoy. The weather was amazing, and our nearly 200 golfers, guests, volunteers and supporters arrived with smiles on their faces. Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman and basketball coach Brad Underwood were guest speakers, and Cunningham and Kendall Gill Golf Benefit longtime supporter Mary Henson was again in attendance.
A special THANK YOU to everyone who helped the 34th Annual Kendall Gill Golf Benefit raise $46,825 in total proceeds to support the critical needs of the 807 youth and families we serve.
Year in and year out, we find that this event is not so much about golf, but instead, about the impact it has on Cunningham Children’s Home and the youth who live here.
"And they believe in the same thing we believe in, as far as taking care of the kids at Cunningham Children’s Home," Kendall Gill told the media about the supporters who attended the outing. "We do this for a reason, to raise money for them (the kids), and year after year that’s why they (supporters) come back, because they see the results of the outing helping the kids at the Home."
Many of our golfers corroborated Kendall’s words, with comments to us like, "We are happy to help such a worthy cause and Cunningham does impressive work to help kids," and "We are happy to be able to be here."
Sponsors shared their participation with social media posts like, "We are so glad to have been a part of this wonderful event," and "We had a great time and we're proud to help sponsor this special event again, benefiting the kids at Cunningham!"
Because of the generosity and financial support of our underwriting sponsors, Wespath Institutional Investments (seventh straight year) and Kirby Wealth Management Group (first year), a larger portion of registration fees and sponsorships go directly to support Cunningham programs.
Our birdie sponsor, Champaign County Asphalt, made sure our course and proximity winners all took home great tournament prizes. We also are thankful to our raffle prize sponsors who made sure 18 more golfers went home winners with awesome prize packages.
Kendall and his wife Wendy have always been gracious hosts of the event and sons Phoenix and Kota, now teenagers who have grown up before our eyes, are also participating. While basketball is Phoenix’s sport, Kota has become more serious about golf and enjoyed the day on the links.
Young men who live at the Kendall Gill Boys Group Home were also treated to an afternoon at the course. They enjoyed lunches donated by Jimmy John’s, words from Coach Underwood and Josh Whitman and a special moment connecting with Kendall himself. They thanked Kendall for his support, shared about what they are doing and put in a couple personal requests.
"We are hoping to get WIFI at the house, can you make that happen?" Riley* asked Kendall.
Changing lives. That’s the impact the Kendall Gill Golf Benefit, a day of golf and good works, makes at Cunningham!
And a SHOUT-OUT to our wonderful volunteers! Once again, Kiwanis Club of Champaign-Urbana members pulled together to donate raffle prizes and help with our set up, check-in and tear down. Several members of our Board of Directors pitched in as greeters and helped direct golfers throughout the day too.
What a blessing it is that the Cunningham family extends well beyond our staff and campus. Because of the commitment, love and support of our community and friends like you, we can provide healing care to those who need it most. Thank you again!
*name has been changed to protect privacy