Caleb has been at Cunningham for seven years. He is always decked out in gear representing the teams he loves, and we probably have 50 pictures of him shooting hoops on campus. A big sports fan, Caleb knows all about the career of Illini-great Kendall and his support of Cunningham, but never had the opportunity to meet him…until this year.
With a lot of hard work and proven coping mechanisms, Caleb, now 18, demonstrated he was ready for more independence and moved into the Kendall Gill Boys Group Home in January. Knowing he would soon be transitioning to a new placement, Caleb was hopeful he would be at the Boys Group Home long enough to meet Kendall. On Monday, he did! He, and his peers, attended the 32nd Annual Kendall Gill Golf Benefit where they chatted with Kendall. Caleb was so thrilled, he asked Kendall to autograph the Illinois shirt he was wearing!
"I am glad I was able to experience it," Caleb said. "I had a great time!"
Providing opportunities as simple as meeting one’s idol to as serious as getting the caring support and therapeutic intervention one needs to heal, learn and grow, is what Cunningham is all about.
"That’s why I continue to come back," Kendall said when asked about the Benefit, "because I know what we’re doing here is helping kids, who have been dealt a bad hand in life, get on the right track, and that’s all I want."
That’s what we all want and events like this help support Cunningham’s mission to nourish hope through effective solutions so children thrive and families’ flourish. And speaking of flourishing…we are pleased to announce that this year’s Benefit raised $39,244 in net proceeds and now, nearly $600,000 over its amazing 32 years.
Thank you to our sponsors, golfers, volunteers and friends who support this event year and year. Because of their commitment, Cunningham is able to provide healing care to those who need it most. We are very grateful.
Even with a little rain and humidity, we saw smiles and heard laughter among old and new friends as memories were made throughout the day. There was so much joy, but perhaps, none more than that of Caleb.