AHWAHNEE – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so ladies, get ready to tee it up on Saturday, Oct. 18, for the Save the Mamas’ Tatas Women’s Golf Tournament at River Creek Golf Course in Ahwahnee, starting at noon.
It’s 4-women teams, best ball. Dinner afterwards will be cooked and served by the three boys who have made this fight against breast cancer their school Senior Project.
Yosemite High School students Justin Phillips, Evan Diehl and Cody Gauthier, all Class of 2015, have banded together to organize this charity golf tournament meant to ease the burden of local women fighting breast cancer today. Their idea is to donate the money raised on the links to three local women who are in need of financial assistance following the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. They boys say the event is their chance to “beat up breast cancer.”.
Justin’s mom Kourtni McLaughlin, 32, is a mentor to the boys for this project, as well as being auntie to Cody and a friend of Evan’s since he was a toddler.
“This is just for the ladies,” says the enthusiastic mentor about the upcoming event. “We will be dressing up, and decorating our carts with prizes for best dress. We also plan on having dinner afterwards. The cost will be $60 per person. 4 woman teams, best ball.”
Kourtni is happy to help spread the word about this event, because she knows about the hardships of cancer; she lost her dad Jimmy Phillips to mesothelioma, after a hard-fought struggle for survival during which Kourtni cared for him for the last months of his life, until he passed away in February 2013.
By May of 2014, Kourtni had thoughtfully channeled her grief into action and organized a golf tournament to benefit cancer patients. The event raised $18,000 for the cause, and changed Kourtni’s life trajectory: she is now in the process of establishing “Helping You Through,” as part of The Jimmy Phillips Foundation, a non-profit for which she has just recently filed. $5,000 of the profits from the golf tournament were donated to the Pacific Meso Center at the Pacific Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Another of the beneficiaries was Kourtni’s best friend’s mother, Frankie. Got that? Caitlin Barnes is Kourtni’s besty, and they both wanted to support Caitlin’s mom Frankie as she moves through her process following breast cancer diagnosis, from chemotherapy earlier this year to the radiation she now undergoes during the week. Following the fundraiser last May, the organizers paid off Frankie’s car in order to help her with the long commutes to medical appointments in Fresno, and also bought her a wig.
Once Justin, Evan and Cody saw the way Kourtni’s golf tournament raised money, the boys began to talk about promoting a charity golf tournament of their own. Fortunately, Kourtni had an event in mind, and the boys were willing to take it over.
Frankie was also on the minds and in the hearts of the boys and their mentor, and the event on Oct. 18 will go toward helping Caitlin’s mom pay for the everyday necessities that are all part of the battle plan. The YHS students are hoping to find two other local women, who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, that could use some support, as well.
Kourtni explained, “you may need money for the cost of fuel to get to treatment, or you have additional expenses because your diet has to change, plus you have everyday expenses because you can’t work, but how do you pay your power or your phone? There are co-pays, or, like my dad, maybe you don’t even have insurance.”
That’s why the three boys under Kourtni’s wing are excited to help. “The original intention of this project was to select three women and donate the money to these women in our local area to help them with expenses or whatever they need. If you are battling breast cancer or you know someone who is and they need, please contact me,” Kourtni says.
The group is hoping to organizer a dinner in the future, during which they plan to present the women with the proceeds of the day.
First, they have to pull together this big project – Save the Mamas’ Tatas Women’s Golf Tournament – which they’ve taken on for Saturday, Oct. 18 at noon. Besides organizing a raffle and registration, Justin, Cody and Evan will cook and serve a full BBQ dinner themselves, complete with all the fixings.
“They are actually doing most of it,” says Kourtni. “They are setting up, tearing down and cooking the food for that day. They are going to all the businesses and selling Tee sponsors and getting the raffle donation. They’re hoping to find someone to do the side dishes!”
Meanwhile, Grocery Outlet has donated water for the event, and other businesses have lined up to sponsor a Tee. Sponsorship is available through Oct. 10. Sponsors already on board include include Idea Print Works, A + Construction, Lemire Tractor, Inc., Advanced Auto, Dan’s Automotive, Sierra Automotive, Carpet One, and Heather Livingston, who will donate a portion of her proceeds from the OrigamiOwl jewelry line she represents.
That’s right, ladies, there’s a fabulous shopping opportunity at the golf tournament: here’s a link so you can pre-shop. Sounds like a great day and it seems like the boys and their mentor may have thought of everything.
For more information, and to register, visit the event Facebook page.