Golf­ing for Kennedy

Heart’s De­light na­tive plays in PGA event; raises money for rare dis­or­der

The Compass - - P2011ORTHTE - BYNICHOLAS MERCER

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.

Fam­ily re­union

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.

Fundrais­ing tour­na­ment

liv­ing in

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.

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