Ballyneal member asks for support with marathon golf fundraiser at Colorado club
Not too long ago, we published a Travel Punch Shot on GolfChannel.com, in which I took the position that Tom Doak was my favorite living architect, and that I would love to receive an invitation to play Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club in Colorado sometime. As it turned out, a couple of members there invited me to play the Doak-designed course, which is ranked sixth on Golfweek’s America’s Best Modern list. I hope to take advantage of this opportunity later this summer.
Anyway, one of Ballyneal’s members is asking for your help. Jim Colton is planning to walk 108 holes of golf in one day to raise money for the medical care of Ben Cox, a Ballyneal caddie who was paralyzed from the chest down following a downhill skiing accident in March. In addition to collecting lump-sum and per-hole pledges, Colton is offering the unique opportunity for others to take an active role in the event. Colton has pledged to pay the Ballyneal guest-fees for up to 16 non-members who raise at least $500 for the cause and commit to the “half-marathon” of 54 holes or more on the 20th.
Cox grew up about 25 miles from Ballyneal in northeast Colorado. He attended Wayland Baptist University in Texas before transferring to Texas Tech, where he was studying civil engineering at the time of the accident. Cox hopes to return to school in January 2012 to complete the last two semesters needed for his degree. He is expected to be discharged from Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo. on June 14 and hopes to be at Ballyneal on June 20 to greet Colton and the other golfers as they are finishing their rounds.
Ben’s mother, Melinda Cox, doesn’t know the total amount of the medical bills resulting from Ben’s care, but related that just one surgical bill was $330,000. Cox is expected to have additional medical needs moving forward.
“I get real emotional talking about the support shown by Jim Colton, Haxtun residents, Wayland Baptist, Ballyneal and others,” said Melinda Cox, a teacher’s aide in Haxtun who has remained with her son in Denver since the accident. “I thank God each day. It’s amazing how people have rallied around us.”
Ben Cox says he has good days and bad. “You’ve got to keep a good attitude about it,” he said. “It is what it is. You can either look at it that you can’t do this or that, or you can figure out what you can still do.”
Colton, who lives in Wheaton, Ill. , writes a blog (wegoblogger31.com), has received pledges of more than $20,000 and hopes the chance to play Ballyneal will raise even more money. He plans to tee off for his first round at 4:45 a.m. and golf until dusk at 8:45 p.m.
“Although the event is called ‘The Ben Cox 108′, I view 108 holes as the starting point instead of the finish line,” Colton said, relating that numerous contributors have creatively structured their pledges with bonuses for playing more than 108 holes. “Knowing that each extra hole will be worth hundreds of additional dollars to the cause will motivate me to keep going.”
For more information, call Ballyneal at 970-854-5900 or e-mail head pro Matt Payne at email@example.com.
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