With braces on his legs but a shy smile on his face, eight-year-old Ian Diedrich rose up from his wheelchair and took a few steps to the front of the podium. Holding his hand, his mother Colleen said her son, who was born with a chromosomal abnormality, could not walk until he enrolled in the Ralph Richardson Center.
“He’s now walking independently,” she said of her son who must undergo spinal surgery every six months to keep walking. She thanked the members of the Rotary Club of Sacramento for their generosity. “We’re just so grateful for your support.”
The center is one of four school programs for physically and health impaired children that are supported by Golf 4 Kids charity tournament on Aug. 10. Others programs which benefit are at the Luther Burbank High School, Fern Bacon Middle School and the Bowling Green Charter School.
But with less than a month to go, only one third of the golfers needed have signed up for the tournament - which is one of Rotary’s longest-running charity events. “What a great excuse to get out and play golf,” said President Dave Cohen. “Grab a foursome and bring your friends.” The tournament, which will be held at the North Ridge Country Club, raises between $30,000 to $40,000 to pay for field trips, special sports tournaments, a community garden, indoor swimming, art classes, and independent living skill training.
“Thank you very much from Burbank High School,” said special education teacher Greg Polo. He introduced recent graduate Andre Justice, who uses a wheelchair, and has learned to ride the bus on his own and how to budget his money. His mother, Andrinus Pernell, said he was even elected prom king. “Thank you guys. We really appreciate all the help you’ve given us,” she said.
Bob Miller, chair of the day, urged more members to participate in the tournament. As a guest raised his hand and asked how to sign up, Ian Diedrich walked off the stage with someone else pushing his wheelchair. Dick Osen put on his golf hat and rushed to the door with his sign up clipboard in hand. For more information, click on - www.sacrotarygolf4kids.com.
Announcements: Past President Beverly Brautigam invited everyone over for the annual swim and barbecue on Saturday; John Swentowsky invited everyone to Monday’s softball game on Monday night; and the unveiling of the house built by Habitat for Humanity will be on Aug. 8.
Other more personal announcements and accompanying donations included:
*Jim Culleton, who swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco.
*Tim Maurice, who was one of 17 top CFO’s honored by the Sacramento Business Journal.
*Brad Towne, sported a hat to hide the dent in his head, but is thankful to be cancer-free.
*Michelle Amaral, who attended a Rotary meeting while on vacation in Salzburg, Austria, and found herself to be the only woman present.
*Past President Susan Sheridan, who was one of six people at a recent Rotary meeting in Livingston, Montana, introduced the club’s newest honorary member Millie Stone, widow of the late Bill Stone.
*Michael Bullington, who celebrated 35 years of marriage and his first grandchild.
*Bob Gaines, who had his first great-grandchild.
*Todd Andrews, who missed President Dave’s first two meetings while at the Tour de France
*Ed Grebitus, who appreciates the music and other Rotary programs.
Thanks to Dan Fenocchio for the wine reception; Aaron French and Kevin Williams for the music and Callee Setzer for the Thought of the Day. The meeting sponsor for the day was Jeff Curcio of the Murphy, Austin, Adams, Schoenfeld Law Firm, newly minted as Murphy Austin.