Golfing for Kennedy
Heart’s Delight native plays in PGA event; raises money for rare disorder
Mark Reid had never played a serious round of golf before moving to Bonneville, Alberta 12 years ago.
Reid, originally from Heart’s Delight, discovered a love for golf he did not know he had.
It is a love that led him to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s Classic Pro-am golf tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Oct. 17-23.
But, it was not the only reason he got involved in the tournament.
Reid’s youngest daughter, fiveyear-old Kennedy, was diagnosed at an early age with the rare body disorder called Costello syndrome.
It is a disorder affecting roughly 300 people worldwide, and causes delayed development and intellectual disability, distinctive facial features, loose folds of extra skin and unusually flexible joints.
“She’s been in hospital quite a bit,” said Reid.
Kennedy has undergonefive surgeries atstollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
“With her being involved with the Children’s Miracle Network, that’s how I got to find out about the tournament,” Reid told The Compass from his home in Bonneville.
The tournament raises funds for awareness, and some funds also go to the the participant’s local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
“I didn’t know anything until I was playing in the Pro-am,” Reid said.
Walking with professionals
When Reid walked onto the green for the first time, it was “a lot like playing with your normal Saturday morning group of guys.”
That analogy changed a little when he was grouped with professionals Joe Durant, Ryan Palmer, Rich Beem and Jason Bohm, each with at least 10 years experience on the PGA tour.
Reid called his professional partners a great group of guys.
“They would talk to you, help you out with things and they wanted to know how we were involved and how we got into the tournament,” said Reid. “Just good conversation all day. It was great.”
At the end of each round, Reid and his counterparts spent a little time together.
“We shared a beer with Rich Beem,” he said with a laugh.
Reid put up a large entry fee for the chance to play with professional golfers, calling it a “one-shot thing and the chance of a lifetime.”
The opening two rounds of the tournament were broadcast live on television, and was an official PGA tour event.
The avid golfer finished the tournament in a tie for 78th among amateurs after shooting a 69 in Round 1 and a 66 in Round 2 for a total of 135, or -9 over the two rounds at Walt Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course.
“The play didn’t really matter, the atmosphere was phenomenal,” he said.
Reid had a lot of family in attendance for his big tournament debut.
His mother, Edna, and father, Clayton, of Heart’s Delight both made the trip.
His aunt Stella and uncle Ernest Bishop attended the tournament, as well as another aunt, Leona, who made the trip from Halifax.
Reid also has relatives Jacksonville, Florida.
“It was awesome to look at him on the golf course,” said his mother, Edna.
With the hot, Florida sun beating down on the spectators, the lines between Reid and his partners became blurred.
“You couldn’t tell if it was him or a pro out there,” said Edna. “I couldn’t believe it was him out there playing with them.”
For Reid, having the opportunity to play in front of so many family members was great.
“I don’t get to see them very much, so we made a big family thing out of it,” he said.
This year marked the first time Reid had put off a charity tournament inspired by his daughter, Kennedy. The tournament took place this past summer in Bonneville, with the goal ofraising funds for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Reid said his daughter has received exceptional treatment at the hospital.
“We just wanted to give back somewhere and we chose the hospital,” he said.
In February, Kennedy had her wish granted through the Children’s Mira- cle Network (a trip to Disney), which was another reason for the charity tournament.
“Medical care is something that is never going to go away,” said Reid.
He said he plans on making his tournament an annual event, with the goal being to raise $10,000 for the hospital each year. This year’s event raised $7,600. “It was a very satisfying experience,” he noted.
Mark Reid (right) poses with his family, including his wife Andrea, and their daughters Kianna, age nine, and five-year- old Kennedy (front, right)
Mark Reid and his mother, Edna, share a
great moment at the Children’s Miracle Network Hosptials Classic in Lake Buena Vista,
Florida Oct. 17-23.
Mark Reid tries to get his ball out of the bunker at his charity golf tournament in Alberta this summer.