June 25, 2012 - Dani's Foundation Hosts Golf Fore A Kid
What: Golf Tournament to benefit Dani's Foundation
Where: Meridian Golf Club Englewood
When: Monday, June 25, 2012
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Beneficiary: Dani's Foundation and the campaign to end pediatric sarcoma
Host(s): Adele Arakawa, 9News anchor
Co-Chair(s): Dani, Frank, Evelinda and Max Urman
Executive Director: Martha Simmons
Staff: Martha Simmons, Executive Director; Amy Goings, Data and Financial Specialist
Welcome: Michele Ashby
Speaker: Woody Roseland
Sponsors: Platinum Sponsors: MiNE LLC, KOA Radio; Gold Sponsor: United Healthcare; Silver Sponsors: CNIC Health Solutions, Creative Technology Prosthetics & Orthotics LLC, First American State Bank, Dave Giocomo; Bronze Sponsors: Bobby Otte, Precious Metals Summit, Sander Ingebretsen & Wake P.C., Stoll Marketing: Tee & Green Sponsors: Boppy.com, Friends of Dani Urman, Doug and Marty Meitus, Stu and Robin Pack, Jeff and Judy Schwartz, Triple R Services
Board of Directors: President-Michele Ashby; Vice President – Keith Ashby; Secretary Treasurer – Laura Davis; Members: Christian Bailey, Emily Brown, Claudia Cruz, Anne Haggar-Gibson, Steve Kregstein, Kimbirly Orr, Staci Sanford, Johny Stell, Kate Ziminski
Blacktie Photos by: Carol Burkett, Superior Imaging
Michele Ashby, Dani's Foundation founder, left, with Luanne Reimer
Amid the triple digit heat of our Colorado summer, 100 hearty golfers and dozens of volunteers headed to the links of Meridian Golf Club in Englewood on Monday, June 25 for the first annual Golf Fore A Kid tournament that benefited Dani’s Foundation and the Campaign to End Pediatric Sarcoma.
The heat of the day did not deter participation in this year’s event - which sold out weeks in advance of the tournament. Each of the 100 golfers came to lend support to the event’s creator, Dani Urman, a Cherry Creek High School student who is now a pediatric cancer survivor. While undergoing her treatment for osteosarcoma during her freshman year in high school, Dani told her parents that she wanted to stage a golf tournament to raise funding for research that would put an end to the disease that she was battling. Two years later she made good to her promise and she and her family aligned with Dani’s Foundation in an effort to raise funding for new pediatric sarcoma research.
At the tournament’s opening ceremony, Michele Ashby, founder and president of Dani’s Foundation, welcomed the golfers and thanked each one for their support of Dani Urman and Dani’s Foundation. Ashby explained to the group that 12,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year and, unfortunately, 20 percent of those children will lose their battle to these horrid diseases. 60 percent of those that survive their cancer will suffer from long-term and serious side effects from the cruel treatments that they endure. “The drugs that are used to treat these cancers have not changed in decades,” explained Ashby. “Dani’s Foundation is committed to raising the funding necessary that will develop better treatment protocols for ALL pediatric cancer patients.”
Ashby’s passion is felt by all as she tells of her daughter, Dani Stell, who lost her battle to pediatric sarcoma in 1999. Ashby formed Dani’s Foundation not only as a way to honor the memory of her daughter but to lend assistance to those patients and family members who continue to be diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma and the other forms of pediatric cancer that continue to affect and take the lives of children and young adults. In addition, Dani’s Foundation is committed to raising the funding necessary to support those researchers that are working to find the cause and the cure for pediatric sarcomas.
Ashby went on to explain that one of the most heartbreaking pediatric cancer statistics is that the average age of diagnosis of childhood cancer is six years old. She told the assembled group that pediatric cancer not only takes a toll on these young patients but it also takes a huge emotional and financial toll on the patient’s family. “Organizations such as Dani’s Foundation are important in filling the gaps in patient support, community education and funding research which continues to be cut by our government and other major cancer organizations due to the rarity of these diseases.”
Dani Urman and her family are all too familiar with what Ashby reported to the golfers. After a very long and difficult series of treatments, Dani lost her left knee and portions of her left thigh to her form of bone cancer. After two years of treatment and rehabilitation, she is finally back to competing as a member of the Cherry Creek High School Golf team and maintains her academic honors. Dani and her family met many patients and families who were struggling while she was undergoing her cancer treatment and they now have a keener understanding of the need for research that will hopefully eliminate these forms of cancers in the coming years.
Also joining Urman at this year’s tournament was five- time pediatric sarcoma survivor Woody Roseland. Roseland, who recently lost his leg to his osteosarcoma, took on the 18-hole tournament and then served as the keynote speaker at the tournament’s awards luncheon. Roseland added a bit of comedy to the program and showcased his newly-released cancer rap which is being featured by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Roseland has served as an inspiration to many pediatric cancer patients and is now taking his show on the road with the intent of demonstrating to others that there is life after cancer if you choose to believe in positive outcomes.
Following Roseland’s words, Honorary Chairwoman Adele Arakawa, of 9News, made the presentation of awards to the winning players and teams in this year’s tournament. Bobby Otte, of the Willis Foundation then made a $2,500 grant presentation to Martha Simmons, of Dani’s Foundation, to assist with the Foundation’s patient assistance grant program.
For more information on the 2012 Golf Fore A Kid Golf Tournament and Dani’s Foundation, visit their website at www.danisfoundation.org.