Published on Friday, August 9, 2013
The 6th annual Kali’s Cure event hosted at Dunmaglas Golf Club on August 3, 2013 is now behind us and has gone down in the books as the most inspiring if not profitable event yet! The numbers are still being tallied and additional donations keep pouring in but, one thing’s for sure, friend’s of Kali’s Cure are some of the most benevolent supporters a foundation could ask for…once again, the crowd stepped up to the plate and raised approximately $250,000 and counting!
The weekend began with two of the most memorable moments in Kali’s Cure history! As friends reunited and reminisced about outings past over cocktails, they were greeted by our special guest, Patrick Rummerfield…the first quadriplegic to fully regain movement. Patrick steadily walked into the cocktail party where he spent the evening mingling firmly shaking hands with new friends. As the night was winding down and many guests had already gone home, the remaining attendees were suddenly silent as Col. Greg Gadson made his way into the party where he was met with a warm hero’s welcome for his surprise visit. Although you might recognize his name from the movie Battleship, in our minds, he is a “star” for the sacrifice he made for our country as he is the only double amputee still enlisted in the Army.
Colonel Gadson not only surprised us Friday evening but he and his foursome joined the rest of the golfers in Saturday’s scramble. There were more participants than ever and the golfers enjoyed a cool Michigan afternoon as they competed for first place in the best ball competition. After the round, everyone bid on some great items…all generously donated to the Kali’s Cure auction. Finally, it was time for dinner and, of course, the most anticipated part of the evening…the live auction and ceremony over which our special guest, Frank Beckmann, always presides. Of course, the crowd got into numerous bidding wars, trying to outbid one another in support of Kali’s Cure but the more captivating part of the ceremony was when attendees had the opportunity to hear directly from some of our special guests.
Famed Dr. John McDonald, a pioneer in the field of SCI medicine, and Patrick Rummerfield each spoke briefly as they accepted a check on behalf of Kennedy-Kreiger (at Johns Hopkins) for $50,000. Next, always entertaining but equally brilliant, Dr. Raymond Onders spoke about his Diaphragmatic Pacing Program before accepting the check for $50,000…along with an additional $1,880 raised on the spot by passing around a hat to raise money needed to maintain pacers for those who are already implanted but are unable to afford upkeep. Finally, after watching a brief CNN clip from the time period immediately following Greg’s injury, it was time for Col. Gadson to speak. After talking to the crowd, it was Greg’s turn to be surprised as Kali Pung presented him with another “challenge coin” from the Life Beyond Barriers organization…identical to the coin Greg had presented Kali only a year prior. Greg was also given a $1,500 donation to the Colonel Gregory Gadson scholarship foundation as he split the money raised by autographing DVDs.
After all of the bidding and speeches, there was one last check to be pr
esented…a $45,000 contribution to the Independence fund for the purchase of three all terrain track chairs for our paralyzed and amputee soldiers. Kali’s Cure was excited to announce this donation but, knowing we have som
e of the most giving people in attendance, we knew we had the opportunity to contribute even more. Where, in fact, without delay, Frank announced this auction item…the chance to purchase or contribute to the purchase of a track chair…two more chairs were immediately secured thanks to Jim and Patti Anderson and Bruce and Mary Ann Becker.
The generosity and outpouring of support that was seen over and over all weekend, is why Kali’s Cure has decided to delay sending the check for the 5 chairs as we encourage and offer another opportunity for our “friends” to purchase or contribute to the purchase of an additional chair. As Greg so aptly put it, only in America would an event like this take place! Now, it’s our turn to give back to those critically injurred ensuring that statement remains true!
Thank You Special Guests
Col. Gregory Gadson
Dr. John McDonald
Dr. Raymond Onders