Golfers, Motorcyclists Raise Funds for Give Kids The World

 
 

by Keith Miller

 One of the most beloved events of any IAAPA Attractions Expo started early Sunday morning as more than 100 participants gathered at the Hawk’s Landing Golf Club for the 15th Annual IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament.
“The difference you’ve made is just incredible—you’ve helped us serve 157,000 families from all around the world,” Pamela Landwirth, president and CEO of Give Kids the World (GKTW), told the gathering of golfers prior to tee time.
Sunday’s tournament benefited GKTW in nearby Kissimmee, Florida. The 84-acre, nonprofit resort provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses.
“IAAPA has been a wonderful partner for so many years,” said Greg Hale, the 2017 IAAPA chairman of the board, “It’s amazing how the support for Give Kids The World has grown—everybody helps. It’s a perfect cause for our industry.”
For some players like Melissa Timco of Ralph S. Alberts Company, the tournament has a deep personal meaning. Timco lost her brother Eric at an early age and will always visit GKTW when in Orlando to find a paver stone with her brother’s name on it. “He passed too early in life,” Timco said. “I would not miss this event for anything. It’s incredible what they do for kids who need some joy in their lives.”
Antonio Zamperla with Zamperla of Italy agrees. “Visiting Give Kids The World is very emotional,” said Zamperla. “They make the children feel so good and I believe that makes them stronger to fight their illnesses.”
Jeff Hudson of Bay Tek Games expressed the sentiments of many players about the dual benefits of the event: “We’re giving back to the kids, and there’s no better feeling than knowing we’re going to raise tens of thousands of dollars here today. This is also a great networking event—you get to see a bunch of old friends as we get ready for Expo week.”
Reflecting on GKTW’s 30-plus years of granting wish trips to kids, Rogerio Siqueira, who came to Orlando a day early from Brazil to play in the tournament, said: “It’s important to plan for the next generation of children with life-threatening conditions. It’s very touching for us to participate. It’s important to us.”
The foursome from Colorvision took first place in the tournament: Henry Tyson, Mark Simmons, Cathy Fischer, and Skip Volkerson. Simmons, the company’s president and CEO, said he and his team are proud to support GKTW not just at the golf tournament, but throughout the year by providing free ride 11.12.17 GKTW Golf Tournament 024photos to families at the Village.
“We’re starting to give volunteer hours from our staff out at the Village. It’s a great cause,” Simmons said.
Also on Sunday, a group of more than 40 motorcycle enthusiasts roared around the Orlando area for the 8th Annual IAAPA Motorcycle Ride. The tour included a stop at Give Kids The World Village, where the bikers paraded their scream machines down the resort’s midway for families to enjoy. Vekoma Rides also made a check presentation to GKTW for $30,000 as part of the event. “This was our first visit to the Village as a group, and it was very moving,” said Tom Sheehan of The Sheehan Firm, one of the ride’s organizers. “What the Village does for families is beyond incredible.”One of the most beloved events of any IAAPA Attractions Expo started early Sunday morning as more than 100 participants gathered at the Hawk’s Landing Golf Club for the 15th Annual IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament.
 
 
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