TOUR Wives Players Give Sick Children A Special Day 2009: Ponte Vedra

TOUR wives players give sick children a special day

— It didn’t have the crowd noise of a Sunday birdie on the 17th at THE PLAYERS Championship, but there were plenty of cheers, laughs and tears to go around Tuesday in the “These Kids Can Play PaintFest!” hosted by the PGA TOUR Wives Association. The event featured 25 children in the Community PedsCare program, which provides support to those with terminal or life-limiting illnesses. The kids, along with their families and caretakers, were able to hone their golf skills on the UBS 17th Challenge replica hole and putting green, while showing off their artistic flair by painting. The artwork will be on display in local hospitals following the event. Amy Mickelson, wife of , spent much of the morning comforting those children unable to paint or swing a golf club. She kept smiles on the faces of the children, and even though some could not participate, made sure each autograph was signed and each picture request granted. Five-year-old Clara Rasch, daughter of Kevin and Beth Rasch of Jacksonville, Fla., was born with a rare condition which causes seizures. Her goal Tuesday was to enjoy the experience and allow younger brothers Ian and Leo to take the spotlight and enjoy the full effects of the morning. “Sometimes the siblings lose out on normal activities because of the needs of one child,” said Sandy Perry, wife of . “This is fun for everybody in the family.” Kevin Rasch, a Navy helicopter pilot who moved the family to Florida after Clara was born in London, agreed. “It’s been great for our entire family. When we leave here, we’ll go back to reality. It’s a good reality though because we’re so blessed with programs like this.” Tabitha Furyk, who has worked with Community PedsCare in the “Halloween Doors and More” event each October in Jacksonville, felt good about the program when she matched them up for THE PLAYERS in 2008.
“The wives travel all over the country and have a charity event in every city, yet we didn’t have one here in my hometown,” she said. “I knew it would be great since it was right here at the course and the players, the wives and the kids could interact. These kids don’t get to spend a lot of time out of a hospital, so this is an opportunity for them to relax and have fun with their families. This year, we’ve added the PaintFest and have had a great response.”

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