General Health Care

Golf tourney gets local charity back into the fundraising swing of things

Written by Mindia Whittier

Event featured former PGA Tour Champion and an MLB pitcher.

A local nonprofit returned to pre-COVID fundraising levels with its first golf tournament since before the pandemic forced an extended end to in-person charitable events.

The Swing Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament, benefiting Leukemia Texas, raised more than $100,000 in November at Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco. The organization last hosted a golf tournament in 2018, which raised $112,000. All funds from this year’s event will help Texans through patient aid and research.

“The support we received for the return of the golf tournament was extraordinary,” said Jessica Dunn, Chief Executive Officer for Leukemia Texas. “We raised critical funds that will benefit Texas families who are battling leukemia. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it was great to be back on the Stonebriar course with our sponsors, golfers, volunteers, and celebrity guests.”

Dallas native Cody Gribble, a past PGA Tour Champion, challenged golfers to “Out Drive the Pro” for friendly competition, and Derek Holland, MLB pitcher for the Detroit Tigers was the guest speaker.

Texas Oncology was the presenting sponsor of the Swing Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament, which included an auction featuring a suite to the December 26 Dallas Cowboys game, a signed Dak Prescott jersey, a suite to either a Dallas Mavericks or Dallas Stars game, signed sports memorabilia and other fun items.

Leukemia Texas improves the lives of those with leukemia through funding research and patient aid in Texas. Financial assistance is provided to leukemia patients needing help with expenses related to treatments that are left uncovered by insurance. Leukemia Texas Patient Aid currently serves hundreds of individuals ranging in age from under one year to over 90 years old.

Additionally, the organization’s Leukemia Texas Research program awards grants for research to develop new and improved methods of treatment to ultimately find a cure for leukemia. Through the Research Program, Leukemia Texas is committed to supporting translational science and advancing research careers in Texas. The Research Program has granted millions of dollars towards studies conducted at leading Texas research centers, including Cook Children’s Medical Center, UNT Health Science Center, Baylor Research Institute, UT Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist and others.

Leukemia Texas does not receive any government funding. The majority of funds are raised through special events as well as individual contributors and corporate sponsors, including a program in which the community can adopt a Buddy the Bear that will be given to pediatric leukemia patients. Buddy the Bear is named after Buddy Minyard, who created Leukemia Texas in 1970 to support Texans who are in their leukemia journey. The fundraising effort gives kids a huggable companion during treatments and hospital stays. Each bear comes with a note of encouragement to let the child know someone is thinking about them. Adoptions are $25 each and are available at LeukemiaTexas.org.

About the author

Mindia Whittier