Hirschsprung’s Disease left 16-year-old Naperville resident Tim Weaver with only one third of his bowels. That makes it difficult to properly digest food without special feeding tubes.
To escape the everyday hassles of dealing with the disease, Tim attends the Double H Ranch in New York each year. The camp welcomes kids and teens like Weaver that have serious illnesses and give them a chance to experience a ropes course, horseback riding, and fishing, all things traditional of a typical summer camp.
“It allows me to escape having to deal with medical issues, just sit back, relax and be like a normal kid for once,” said Weaver.
While at camp five years ago, Weaver met volunteer camp counselor Matt Parker. The two bonded over the arcade game “Golden Tee” and instantly became friends. After leaving the camp, Weaver and Parker decided to take the game and make a fundraiser out of it. For the fourth year in a row, they held a Golden Tee tournament to collect money for the camp.
“They charge no kid to attend camp. It cost them $1800 a kid and all their operating funds come from donations,” said Weaver. “We just thought it was a great cause and they need our money.”
“Tim has wanted to do this from day one,” said Parker. “And he’s the camper and all he wants to do is raise money so more kids can go. And that’s camp and that’s why I keep going back.”
Participants in the tournament, including Parker, also donated money to shave their heads. In all, their latest fundraiser cashed in more than $5,000. The makers of Golden Tee say many groups use the game as a means of raising money for a charity. So they created an award to honor those efforts. They presented their first “Golden Tee Heroes Award” to Weaver and Parker.
“These guys have gone above and beyond,” said Gary Colabuono, Marketing Director for Incredible Technologies, the developing company of Golden Tee. “Not only are they friends because of the game, they’re using the game to help others and that’s really what it’s all about.”
Weaver and Parker continue to play Golden Tee throughout the year to help kill time until they can return to camp.
“When he and I get together just to play golden tee, I know he’s thinking about camp,” said Parker. “Once we leave camp, we know how many days it is till the next year. It’s what gets me through the year and what gets the kids through the year.”
Weaver and Parker will return to camp at the end of July, where they will present a giant check in the amount raised from their fundraiser.
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